NPA ‘permit to campaign’ payment is support for rebels: Army exec

General

_:A top Philippine Army commander in Surigao del Norte has strongly urged local candidates not to pay the permit to campaign being collected by communist rebels.

Brig. Gen. George Banzon, the commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade (901Bde), pointed out Wednesday that payment of permits to campaign to the New People’s Army (NPA) is tantamount to supporting the rebels’ cause.

“Do not give in to the demands of the NPA, such as the permit to campaign and permit to win, or anything that will support their cause,” Banzon said in a statement.

Banzon’s call came after the military, police, and the Commission on Elections in Surigao del Norte signed Monday a “pledge of integrity” among the local candidates in the Surigao del Norte town of Placer.

He said the Army will continue to run after NPA rebels in the area and will give the guerrillas no room to interfere and disrupt the elections.

“To the lawless elements who will resort to violence that might disrupt the peace and order prior, during, and after the election, we will use the full force of the law to go after you,” the Army official said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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