Close  

Quezon bets turn to Army for protection

/ 01:20 AM March 02, 2016

LUCENA CITY—Several local candidates in Quezon province have turned to the military for protection as they continue to receive demands from communist rebels asking them to pay permit to campaign (PTC) fees in guerrilla-controlled areas, an Army official said.

“We are now receiving queries from some candidates on how we can protect them during the campaign. They don’t want to pay PTC fees anymore,” said Brig. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 201st Infantry Brigade based in Calauag town.

ADVERTISEMENT

Parayno said they expected more politicians to seek their help in the run-up to the start of the campaign period on March 25.

The military’s information was confirmed by two local candidates in the Bondoc Peninsula (third congressional district) and Lamon Bay (fourth congressional district) areas. These candidates had paid PTC fees to members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in previous elections.

FEATURED STORIES

“I’ve already received a demand letter asking me to pay. But I’m not sure if I’m dealing with a real NPA emissary. Besides, my fund is too tight; I will not pay them this time,” said one of the politicians who asked not to be named for security reason.

The candidates said they have no idea what kind of security measures they will get from the police and military during the campaign.

“I don’t want to jeopardize the safety of my campaign workers. They are also afraid that they would be caught in the crossfire,” said the other candidate.

Parayno clarified the military would not give candidates individual security escorts. Soldiers, he said, would only clear the campaign site of any threat from communist rebels or other armed groups.

“The general guidance is we won’t be acting as bodyguards or personal security [aides]. But if our assessment [shows] there is clearly a threat, we can coordinate with the police and be ready… just in case,” he said.

Lt. Col. Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom), said some politicians in Occidental Mindoro and Camarines Norte provinces have approached military officials to arrange security measures during the campaign.

Guzman said the Bicol candidates sought their help as they cited how the security arrangement provided by government forces to public works projects in the area worked.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Solcom commander, reiterated his call to all candidates not to give in to the rebels’ demand.

“There is no more reason to be afraid of the NPA,” he said in an earlier interview.

Parayno reminded candidates who would pay PTC fees that NPA rebels would return to ask for more concessions once they win.

“It is a continuous cycle of extortion,” he said.

In past elections, rebels sought from candidates not only cash but goods like rice, other foodstuff, medicine, communication equipment and even mobile phone load credits, military and local officials said. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: areas, Army, Elections 2016, guerrilla, Permit to Campaign, protection, PTC, quezon
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

‘PH rice discoveries not reaching farmers’

June 17, 2019 05:32 AM

newsinfo

PNP unit to target 2,000 rogue cops

June 17, 2019 05:30 AM

newsinfo

News Briefs: June 17, 2019

June 17, 2019 05:29 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.