• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Philippine Army in Negros Island discouraged candidates in the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from paying “permit to campaign” or “permit to win” fees to the CPP-NPA, in exchange for freely campaigning in the hinterlands.
Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said that they are expecting the CPP-NPA to distribute permit to campaign, or permit to win, to candidates during the incoming barangay and SK elections.
Edralin said they need the cooperation of BSKE candidates not to pay, in order to reduce the financial support rebels are gathering for them to thrive, and sustain their operations against government and its armed forces.
The barangay and SK election period starts August 28 this year.
The Department of Interior and Local Government warned candidates that they will be held criminally and administratively liable, for extending financial assistance to the NPA.
With coordination with the Philippine National Police and Comelec, Edralin said they are now evaluating the recent updated security situation in Negros.
While they have not monitored any reports that the CPP NPA may field candidates in the synchronized elections, the ranking Army official said he is calling on voters not to support NPA bets.
As long as they have the support, they will continue to thrive, and continue destroying the image of Negros Occidental as a whole, Edralin said.
We cannot end totally the local armed communist conflict if we will continue to help the NPA, he stressed.*