BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The fate of politicians or candidates in the May 2022 elections who will extend support to the New People’s Army now lies with the Department of Interior and Local Government, as well as the National Task Force- Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict, Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander disclosed Wednesday.
In a recent dialog between top officials and senior commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and DILG, Arevalo said they were informed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año that all reports of local chief executives, or candidates, who are supporting the CPP-NPA, for election purposes, will be coursed through DILG and NTF-ELCAC.
This is to avoid the conflict between LCEs and government forces, Arevalo said, as he recalled other law enforcement agencies were the one exposing politicians who support the NPA during the election period, which caused irritants between them.
He reiterated his advice for candidates who may receive extortion letters from the NPA, to link up with them secretly to make arrangements with regards to security issues. Definitely, it’s illegal to give in to the extortion scheme of the local terrorist group, Arevalo stressed.
Let us know the real score or situation, and we will help, he said.
Arevalo said that politicians or LCEs who may extend support to the armed group of political reasons, is expected to be known later, through the help of former rebels, or recovery of documents from encounter sites.
Once proven, they will be held liable for it, under the criminal justice system, he added.
Arevalo, who paid a courtesy call yesterday to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, also said they will be conducting relentless and aggressive offensive against the NPA remnants in Regions 6 and 7.
Noting that there is now a nationwide trend in the weakening of all NPA guerilla fronts all over the country, including Negros Island, he said that aggressive operations against them will be a big help to reduce their intimidation and related activities during the election.*