The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the New People’s Army has strongly denied claims that they are demanding access fees from candidates, who campaign in their territories.
Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, clarified in a statement he issued, that candidates are free to campaign in rebel controlled territories, as long as they will strictly follow the policy of the revolutionary movement.
Magbanua said candidates should respect the democratic government established by the people in the countryside, avoid bringing goons and guns, should not be accompanied by the AFP and PNP, and refrain from engaging in vote‒buying activities. Those with blood debts will not be allowed to enter their territories, he said.
The Police Regional Office 6 earlier presented to the local media copies of extortion letters from the CPP-NPA addressed to political candidates, whom they did not identify, demanding fees from them.
Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, regional police director of Western Visayas, warned candidates, as well as local officials, not to give in to the extortion demands of the NPA, as they may face sanctions such as disqualification for possible violations of the Revised Penal Code and provisions of the Omnibus Election Code for doing so.
Magbanua advised candidates who may receive letters using the name of the NPA, and demanding money from them, to ignore them, claiming that it is the handiwork of the AFP and PNP, who want to destroy the image of the revolutionary movement.*
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