NDF, Army views on permit to campaign fees issue differ
TACLOBAN CITY—The National Democratic Front (NDF) in Eastern Visayas said there is no such thing as “permit to campaign and permit to win fees” but according to the Philippine Army it remains an “integral and permanent part of their electoral activities” in the region.
Capt. Gene Orense, spokesperson of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division said the New People’s Army (NPA) scheme was confirmed after troops of the 63rd Infantry Battalion recovered documents in October last year in Barangay Capo-toan, Las Navas, Northern Samar.
“The NPA leadership uses extortion as basis for establishing and broadening their political base and alliances,” Capt. Orense said.
Fr. Santiago Salas, spokesperson of the NDF, on the other hand said the malicious imputation against the revolutionary organization is part of the Army’s counter-revolutionary propaganda.
“The 8th ID seeks to divert attention away from the fact that the reactionary elections are undemocratic and are used along with state violence to keep the oppressive and exploitative system,” Salas said in a statement released to the media.
But according to the military, a separate document revealed that the NPA leadership issued a guide to the NPA insurgents in Eastern Visayas how to conduct an extortion scheme to local candidates who will run in the May 2013 elections.
“The extortion scheme by the NPA shall be implemented in three levels,” Orense said.
“The leadership of local communist movement and their armed group focuses in the conduct of discrete local communist movement and their armed group focuses in the conduct of discreet discussions with politicians on the political line, supporting the legal left organizations and direct benefits to their sympathizers,” Orense added.
The second and third levels include the discussing cooperation in the platform ticket, campaign, vote watch, finances and resources for the campaign; and the sympathizers, engaging the negotiations with the politicias regarding the direct benefits they will receive once they pay the so-called permit to campaign and win fees.
Meanwhile, the NDF said the people in their so-called “revolutionary territories” are empowered in fighting for a genuine democratic system of governance to prevail, which even the reactionary politicians recognize and respect. (REYAN L. ARINTO)
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