Bacolod City – Politicians in Western and Central Visayas appears to have heeded the appeal of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division not to pay campaign fees the demanded by the New People’s Army during the May 9 elections.
Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said that they have not monitored any reports of politicians in Western and Central Visayas succumbing to the extortion activities of the CPP-NPA, especially demands to pay campaign fees.
As of this time, we have not monitored any in Negros Occidental, disclosed Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander.
Pasaporte said that they were also able to constrict the movement of the NPA red fighters during the election.
Sporadic gun battles ensued in central and southern Negros before the May 9 elections.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier warned candidates of the 2022 elections not to pay “permit to campaign” fees to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s’ Army (CPP-NPA) or else they may face disqualification.
The said fees, according to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, is a modus operandi and a “clear form of extortion and defilement of the sanctity of the right to suffrage” under the Memorandum Circular 2019-26.
Año said that DILG will file the appropriate charges against personalities violating Republic Act 10168, otherwise known as the “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,” which is also a violation of Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code and Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code or the Disloyalty of Public Officers.
Section 4 of Republic Act 10168 states that any person who finances terrorist groups to carry out or facilitate the commission of any terrorist act by a terrorist organization, association or group, or by an individual terrorist, shall be guilty of the crime of financing terrorism.
Meanwhile, Arevalo commended the 3ID troops for providing security during the May 2022 elections, as he also recognized the collective effort of all various agencies that collaboratively planned for a seamless election process.
“The success of the recent safe, accurate, fair, and free election is attributed to the collaborative efforts of various government agencies. Again, our convergence made history in this part of the country,” Arevalo said. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)