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By Junex Doronio
June 11, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Although some political scientists have branded as “mercenary and not revolutionary” the practice of the New People’s Army (NPA) to compel candidates to pay “permit-to-campaign” (PTC) fees, this has been going on for such a long time during campaign period prompting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to dissuade politicians eyeing to run in the 2022 presidential and local elections.
AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo pointed out that paying the PTC fees would be tantamount to supporting the Maoist rebels who have been waging an armed struggle to topple down the government for more than 52 years now.
“We are making this clear that they (politicians) should not be giving or providing [the fees to NPA rebels] because this is a direct show of support to this terrorist group,” Arevalo stressed at a televised public briefing.
He added that the candidates who are paying the NPA to allow them to campaign “would be violating the law if they do this.”
Arevalo said the military is currently in talks with local government units (LGUs) and police to monitor developments in their respective areas of responsibility should some politicians give cash to the NPA rebels.
He disclosed that the military identified “certain groups” who would demand PTCs from candidates to allow them to campaigning in the so-called rebel stronghold areas.
“We will continue with our preparations especially as elections are nearing,” Arevalo quipped.
According to Wikipedia, the NPA was founded on March 29, 1969 by the collaboration of Jose Maria Sison and former members of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB) led by Bernabe Buscayno.
For more than 52 years, the NPA has been waging a guerrilla war copied on the Maoist strategy of “surrounding the cities from the countryside.” (AI/MTVN)