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Army assures protection of Iloilo politikos vs NPA extortions

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With the 2019 elections nearing, the Philippine Army is gearing up to protect officials and candidates from extortion attempts by the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

Col. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the Army’s 301st Infantry Battalion, said soldiers in Panay continue with patrol operations, particularly in areas where there are threats of extortion.

He said those at the receiving end of extortion attempts can seek help from them through mobile numbers 09281757208 and 09167663740.

“Our preparation for the elections is to attack the NPAs. They cannot ask for extortion money from our politicians,” Arevalo said (https://thedailyguardian.net/local-news/army-vows-to-secure-iloilo-pols-vs-rebel-extortion/).

On Oct. 11 to 17, those running in the midterm elections are to file their certificates of candidacy.

Arevalo said they have gathered proof of the NPAs’ extortion activities from seven NPA leaders and members killed in an encounter in Antique last month.

Government troops had recovered from the slain rebels four laptops, more than 20 cell phones, and computer hard drives.

Arevalo said they extracted information including names of companies and individuals who are giving money to the extortionists.

Meanwhile, Arevalo said they would also protect private contractors of various projects on Panay Island and traders.