POLICE authorities on Saturday appealed to politicians and candidates for upcoming elections to ignore demands that they pay permit-to-campaign fees to New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
The appeal was made by Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor on the eve of the start of the election period.
“We are discouraging them from paying PTC fees to NPA rebels,” Mayor told The Manila Times, saying paying PTC fees to the rebels is akin to providing them financial support to fight the government.
NPA rebels have in past elections raked in millions of pesos from candidates shell out a certain amount in order to campaign in rebel-controlled areas. The rebel group also demand permit-to-win fees from candidates.
Mayor said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has issued a statement that candidates who will pay fees to the NPA will be disqualified.
In past elections, some candidates who refused to pay fees were either ambushed or harassed while campaigning in rebel-held or controlled territories.