THE military advised candidates for the May 10 polls to report to authorities any attempt by communist rebels to collect revolutionary taxes from them.

Armed Forces spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr. said members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are active especially during the campaign period.

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The rebels collect fees from the politicians as permit to campaign, said Brawner, adding that this is very evident in Eastern Mindanao and some parts of the Visayas, like Samar.

“These are the areas where they can get their extortion money,” Brawner told reporters. “Other than the permit to campaign, these would include taxes for mining and logging.”

Other places where collection of permit to campaign would be prevalent are Bicol, Quezon, Negros, and Davao, Brawner said.

He said these are the areas where they caught NPA extortion teams in the act of collecting permits to campaign (PTCs).

“We caught them in seven separate occasions recently,” Brawner said.

Thus, he said it would be wiser for politicians approached by the NPA to report to authorities.

“In the seven instances we caught them red-handed, it was the civilians or the politicians who provided the information,” Brawner said.

PTC depends on the area and the position. Brawner said it is anywhere from P50,000 to millions of pesos.

In the 1997 elections, Brawner said the NPA netted P150 million. (Rimaliza Opiña)