visayas.politics.com.ph

Army intel! Some WV politikos pay NPA’s permit to campaign fees

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Despite repeated appeals to them not to, some candidates running in the May 13 polls still caved in to the communist New People’s Army’s extortion racket in Western Visayas, Philippine Army officials in the region said.

The Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion said three to five politicians paid for the NPA’s so-called “permit to campaign (PTC).”

Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara, 61st IB commander, said that while these politicians refused to admit paying the NPA, “we received these information from civilians confirming that these politicians opted to give in.”

Batara did not name the politicians but said they are from Panay Island and are seeking the mayoralty and town council posts (https://thedailyguardian.net/local-news/only-handful-give-in-to-npas-extortion-racket-army/).

He did not specify how much they gave to the NPA in exchange for the freedom to campaign in NPA-influenced areas.

On the other hand, Batara noted the NPAs’ extortion operations are moving closer to town centers as the May 13 midterm polls draw nearer.

He added the NPAs have started targeting small entrepreneurs and established businessmen, many of whom have reported incidents to them and provided them with copies of the NPAs’ extortion letters.

Last year, the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade pegged the “earnings” of the NPA – Komiteng Rehiyon Panay (KRP) from its alleged extortion activities at around P30 to P40 million a year.

Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, former 301st IB commander and now 303rd IB head, said they expect the NPA group would further intensify its extortion racket.

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