THE cat is out of the bag as both the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police have vocally aired its rejection of candidates in the forthcoming May 13 national and local elections who have extended or are extending support to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, in exchange for full support of the leftist movement and their “front” organizations.
Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the PNP headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde and the Armed Forces headed by General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. are monitoring several candidates in the midterm polls who have literally been providing support, financially and logistically including weapons and ammunition and food and medicine supplies to the NPA in particular.
With the local campaign period set to start on March 30, security officials have aired beliefs that the NPA will further step-up their collection of “Permit-to-Campaign-Fees” from candidates in exchange for their unhampered campaigning in areas where they have a considerable presence. Those who reject the NPA demand are subjected to harassment by the rebels.
According to security officials, the NPA’s standard Permit-to-Campaign Fee are the following: P20 million for presidential candidates; P10 million for vice president; P2 million for senators; P300,000 to P650,000 for members of the House of Representatives; P300,000 to P650,000 for gubernatorial candidates; P75,000 to P100,000 for vice-gubernatorial bets; P50,000 to P60,000 for Board members;
P200,000 to P500,000 for city mayors and vice mayors; P50,000 to P100,000 for municipal mayors; P25,000 to P50,000 for municipal vice mayors.
Sec. Año said the PNP and the AFP has identified a total of 349 local and national government officials who paid the campaign fees to the NPA movement during the 2016 national elections as well as during the 2018 barangay polls.
Of the total number, 11 were provincial governors, five vice governors, 10 provincial board members, 55 vice mayors, 21 vice mayors, 41 councilors, 126 barangay captains, 50 barangay councilors and eight barangay officials, the DILG chief said. Also in the list are 11 former local government unit (LGU) officials, 10 incumbent congressmen and one former congressman.
Extortion activities from politicians and local leaders were rampant in Regions 2, 8, 10 and 11 prompting him to urge voters not to vote candidates who support the CPP/NPA movement and its organizations.
“Huwag po nating suportahan ang mga gawain ng mga makakaliwa, ng mga terorista,” he said. “Huwag po nating iluklok ang mga kandidatong may kaugnayan sa mga komunistang grupo.”