MANILA - Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have allegedly started extortion activities by imposing on candidates the “permits to campaign” and “permits to win,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed.
AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcleo Burgos said they have received information that rebels have already started sending their “rates,” specifically those in Northern Luzon.
He warned the candidates against giving in to the NPA’s demands. “Giving in to their demands will only bolster their means to conduct terroristic activities…That will spell more problems.”
He asked the candidates to instead inform security officials of the extortion activities so that violators will be put behind bars. He said the AFP is willing to provide the candidates the necessary security in order that they will not be harmed, he said.
"They should immediately coordinate with the nearest [Philippine National Police] and AFP authorities when they receive such demands or extortion letters coming from the NPA," he said.
Meanwhile, Burgos said there is no “very significant threat” that the AFP has received so far. He said the AFP and the PNP, through the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center, have already adopted security measures for the election period.
"Security measures are already in place. We have advised our commanders to intensify pro-active security patrols, in coordination with the PNP, like conduct of random checkpoints to enforce gun ban, and to make sure that there is no proliferation of arms and explosives," he said.