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Three poll bets get NPA extortion letters

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Three local candidates in the coming May elections sought the help of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) after they received extortion letter from the New People’s Army (NPA).

The NPA letters, which contained a mobile phone number, demanded money so that the candidates could campaign in rebel-infested areas.

While he refused to name the three candidates due to security reasons, PRO-6 Director Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao said in a Panay News article that the letters came from the NPA’s Southern Front Committee.

The group operates in the 1st and 2nd districts of Iloilo and portions of Antique.

The rebels are charging candidates to pay as high as P100,000, according to Bulalacao.

“We denounce this NPA extortion activity. They are victimizing midterm election candidates. We shall not allow them to continue doing this. The proceeds of their extortion activities will surely be used to procure armaments to kill soldiers, policemen, politicians, businessmen, and innocent civilians,” the police director said.

Candidates have been told not to yield to the extortion demands of the rebels “otherwise they may face possible disqualification for violation of the Revised Penal Code and other provisions of the Omnibus Election Code.”

Bulalacao already directed PRO-6’s intelligence units and Regional Mobile Forces to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to intensify the anti-insurgency campaign.