Army focuses on permit-to-campaign fee

THE EASTERN Mindanao Command is continuously monitoring the New People’s Army who will mulct politicians this election season through the so-called permit-to-campaign fees in their territories.

“The (communist rebels) resorting to utilizing threats, intimidation, terror and violence infringes upon the constitutional rights of the people to choose the best leaders who can bring real reforms through good governance,” Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesperson of EastMinCom, said.

“These dirty tactics employed by the CPP-NPA-NDF are meant to limit the candidates’ campaign activities in the countryside.”

Caber said they are focusing their operation in Davao Region, portion of North Cotabato, General Santos City, Northern Mindanao and Caraga, which has the most number of extortion demands from the rebel group based on previous elections.

“The 4th ID also monitored extortion tries where the perpetrators attempted to send threatening letters to politicians,” he added.

The officer then adviced candidates to coordinate with the military or police, instead of giving in to the demands of the NPAs.

Meanwhile, he claimed that there’s a significant reduction in the numbers of the NPA this year by 17%  or 344, majority of whom surrendered to the authorities. The number of rebel-influenced barangays was also cut by 27%, or 152 villages.

For the same period, he said they dismantled five guerilla fronts and recovered 148 high-powered firearms.

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