Comelec, PNP urge candidates not to pay NPA poll charges

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) top officials in Negros Occidental are urging the candidates for the 2013 elections not to pay the New People's Army (NPA) for supposed poll charges in their alleged territories.

Lawyer Wil Arceno, Comelec provincial supervisor, and Senior Superintendent Celestino Guara, Noppo acting director, said politicians seeking elective posts should not succumb to these "extortion racket" of the NPA rebels.

"I don't think they have any territory in Negros to speak of, based on the PNP and military report," Arceno said.

He added though that it is up to the individual candidates if they will give in to the demands of the NPA rebels.

However, he also noted that giving in to the demands of the NPA rebels could be tantamount to supporting them which is unlawful.

The statements of the two officials were sought by reporters here after leaflets supposedly from the NPA rebels were scattered and left at the Barangay Hall in Barangay Puso, La Castellana town stating that candidates will have to pay to get the permit to campaign from the NPAs in their supposed territories.

Guara said candidates should not pay any amount to the NPA rebels in their campaign sorties.

He said the PNP and military are ready to provide security in the areas where the candidates will stage their campaign.

Guara said they do not recognize the alleged PTCs (Permit to Campaign) being imposed by the NPA rebels.

Arceno and Guara met with key officials of the PNP and the military during the Provincial Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council meeting Thursday for the final deployment of police and military personnel in connection with the slated May 13, 2013 election.

"Everything is in place, as far as security is concerned. We can even have the elections tomorrow," Arceno said.
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