By Christian Crow Maghanoy | The Manila Times
Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the police would work closely with the military in preventing communist terrorists from extorting "permit-to-campaign" fees from politicians during the election season.
Eleazar's statement on Saturday comes after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) tapped the police and local government units to stop the alleged election extortion activity by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).
"I am directing all police offices and units to be extra vigilant in your respective areas of responsibility and strictly monitor the extortion activities of these communist rebels in demanding money from candidates in exchange for so-called permits-to campaign for the coming elections," Eleazar said.
He pointed out that this type of extortion activity by the CPP-NPA just shows that its members are just common thugs and not principle-based fighters.
Eleazar also warned politicians planning to run for posts in the 2022 elections against giving "permit-to-campaign" fees to the CPP-NPA as they will be complicit in the communist rebels' illegal activities.
"This should also serve as a warning to the election candidates that if you do this, you will also be held accountable by law because it is equivalent to providing financial support to the CPP-NPA," the PNP chief said.
He said the money collected by the communist rebels would definitely be used in the purchase of more firearms and other logistics to sustain the CPP-NPA's senseless and pointless "armed struggle."
Eleazar added that giving in to the communist rebels' demand for money would only embolden them to continue their extortion activities.
"As long as someone intimidates and gives, the communist rebels will not stop this work," Eleazar said as he urged the public, particularly politicians, to immediately coordinate with authorities if they are victimized by the CPP-NPA.
"Together with the AFP, we will intensify our security measures against communist rebels so that we can prevent this illegal activity;" he said.