MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said candidates should not pay the New People's Army for so-called permits to campaign.
“Hindi dapat ginagawa ‘yun,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
He said the military has been informed about this concern and that candidates should be allowed to “freely campaign.”
Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos earlier said they have received information that rebels have already started sending their "rates" on permits to campaign to candidates 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. With Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News