AN OFFICIAL of the Police Regional Office in Northern Mindanao (PRO-10) urged politicians running for elective posts not to give in to the demand of the New People’s Army (NPA) for money in exchange for a permit to campaign in rebel-infested communities.
PRO-Northern Mindanao spokesperson P/Lt.Col. Surki Sereñas said Tuesday, April 2, that candidates must report to the police and military should the NPA send them an extortion letter.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government has a list of local chief executives and candidates who either have concerns with the NPA or are supporting the logistical needs of the communist rebels.
"Naay listahan ang DILG sa mga local chief executive ug candidates nga naay concern sa ingon niani so atong panawagan sa ila nga i-report kini sa police ug military," he said.
(There is a list from Department of Interior and Local Government of local chief executives and candidates who have this concern, and we are calling on them that they should report this to the military.)
Sereñas said the state security forces have begun monitoring the movement of the candidates and the NPA during the campaign period.
"Though we understand nga usahay makahatag sila para makasulod sa lugar pero advised namo nga i-report gyud para ma-monitor kay kung dili nila i-report maingnan gyud nga supporters sila sa NPA," he added.
(Though we understand that sometimes they are able to give money so that they can enter to the place, but we advise that they should report it so that it can be monitored. If they will not report it, they can be perceived as NPA supporters.)]
Sereñas said political parties and candidates may ask the police or military for security escorts should they wish to woo the voters in areas where NPA members have been sighted.
He said the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Center (RJSCC) will evaluate the report of the candidates so they can be given security personnel.
"Kailangan man pud ni i-address nga concern sa (there is a need for it to be addressed to) RJSCC," Sereñas said, adding that the RJSCC will convene soon and this is among the concerns to be discussed.