Army to politicos: Don’t give in to NPA's extortion-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
COLONEL Oscar Lactao, 303rd commander of the Philippine Army, is asking candidates for the 2013 polls not to give in to the “permit to campaign” being imposed by the New People's Army (NPA) in their supposed "controlled areas."
He made the statement during the Provincial Joint Peace and Security Coordinating meeting as the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed the 11 areas in Negros Occidental that are under the Commission on Elections (Comelec) watchlist.
Lactao said there is no need for the candidates to relent to the permit to campaign of the NPA because they are in charge of security of the people especially in the countryside.
He also asked the NPA rebels to vote for their supported candidates, as this will pave the way to a democratic approach for their ideals, as the armed struggle is fast becoming a thing of the past.
Let us debate on the issue and not through arms, he said.
Lactao also said that while the PNP has identified the 11 localities included in the Comelec watchlist, this does not mean that it is the entire city or locality that is affected.
Escalante City was named as the lone area under Category 1, which means there is intense political rivalry and possible deployment of private armed groups.
Named under Category 2 because of the presence of armed elements like the NPA rebels are Cadiz City, Manapla, Victorias City, Toboso, Moises Padilla, Himamaylan, Cauayan, Sipalay, Binalbagan and Calatrava
Lactao said the watchlist was based on the 2007 and 2010 elections but the situation has apparently improved. He foresees a peaceful conduct of the 2013 elections.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 25, 2013.