PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Eleazar issued a reminder for politicians not to give in to the demands of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army’s (CPP/NPA) “permit-to-campaign fee.”
He gave the reminder several months ahead of the much-heated elections to be held in May of next year.
“As the national polls draw near, the CPP/NPA is expected to again take advantage of the elections for financial gain through extortion.”
The PNP chief explained that the communist rebels usually profit from the elections by demanding “permit-to-campaign fees” from politicians who plan to run for public office in local or national elections.
“I want to remind persons planning to run in the elections that giving in to this demand for money by the CPP/NPA, would mean giving the communist rebels financial support and would make them liable for violation of several special laws including the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020,” PGen. Eleazar said.
He cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of the CPP/NPA as a terrorist organization under Proclamation No. 374 in connection with Section 3 (e) (1) of Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism and Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
Violation of RA 10168 is punishable with 20 to 40 years of imprisonment and a fine of not less than P500,000. A politician could also have his property, funds, and other assets frozen by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
PGen. Eleazar warned that a political candidate may also be held accountable as a principal in terrorist activities under Section 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and could face charges under the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.
“Nanawagan po tayo sa mga balak kumandidato sa nalalapit na halalan na huwag po tayo magbibigay ng tinatawag na ‘permit-to-campaign fee’ sa CPP/NPA dahil wala itong pinagkaiba sa pagsuporta sa mga rebeldeng komunista at sa kanilang paghahasik ng karahasan sa ating mga komunidad,” the PNP Chief said.
He added, “As public officials or soon to be public officials, you are at all times accountable to the people and must uphold public interest over personal interest.”