NPA issues campaign rules for pols in Davao region
(The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2013 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – It would not be easy campaigning for politicians particularly in areas considered to be “red zones” or those where the New People’s Army (NPA) supposedly wields influence in Southern Mindanao.

Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman of the Merardo Arce Command of the NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, has issued “rules” amid allegations from the police and military that communist rebels are collecting money from politicians in exchange for “permit to campaign” and “permit to win” especially in areas they supposedly have influence.

Sanchez said politicians should respect the areas controlled by the “revolutionary government” and for them to coordinate with the NPA forces operating in the region.

“As the masses participate in the reactionary electoral process, politicians and bourgeois political parties are interested in reaching out to them. It is only proper and fair for these politicians to respect the distinct territories held by the revolutionary government and coordinate with the NPA and people’s militia, organs of political power, revolutionary forces, and Party branches,” said Sanchez in a statement the other day.

Foremost among the NPA’s rules, according to Sanchez, is for politicians to demonstrate sincerity in both words and deeds not only during the campaign period but even after the political exercise.

The NPA also urged politicians to undertake concrete actions to conform to campaign promises, especially within the supposed revolutionary territories.

Sanchez said politicians should also desist from performing counter-revolutionary intelligence activities against the NPA and the revolutionary movement, especially in Southern Mindanao, and conniving with the Armed Forces in its counter-insurgency Oplan Bayanihan.

Politicians should refrain from carrying out “anti-social activities” like gambling, drinking and prostitution that affect the youth and “promote profligate culture,” the NPA said.

The insurgents also urged politicians to provide material and financial help to fund mass production campaign, education, health, and immediate infrastructure projects, especially in areas badly hit by typhoon “Pablo” and other calamities.

Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental were the hardest hit when Pablo struck the region last Dec. 4, leaving over 1,000 people dead and more than 500 others still missing.

Sanchez also told politicians not to carry firearms, especially during the campaign period.

The Commission on Elections has enforced a gun ban in the run-up to the May midterm elections.

ARMED FORCES COMPOSTELA VALLEY AND DAVAO ORIENTAL MERARDO ARCE COMMAND NEW PEOPLE NPA OPLAN BAYANIHAN POLITICIANS RIGOBERTO SANCHEZ SANCHEZ SOUTHERN MINDANAO
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