AFP Deputy of Chief of Staff for Operations (J3) Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad said the countermeasures are focused on preventing the communist New People’s Army (NPA) and other armed groups from influencing the outcome of the elections.
Baladad gave the assurance amid military reports that the NPA had become active in collecting money from candidates for “permits to campaign” in their areas.
Baladad said among the countermeasures being implemented by the military is to conduct regular patrols and checkpoints to curtail movements of the insurgents and other armed groups under the employ of political warlords.
Troops are also deployed in far-flung communities to intensify the information campaign to convince candidates of ample military and police protection for them against the NPA.Capt. Gene Orense, spokesman of the Samar-based 8th Infantry Division, said the NPA is taking an active role in the upcoming elections by supporting national and local candidates in a move to have access to the pork barrel funds of winning candidates.Orense added the rebels are also fielding their own candidates in the upcoming elections to pursue their political struggle by infiltrating the government bureaucracy, particularly the legislative branch, for them to have access to government resources to bankroll their underground movement.<span new=”" span=”" style=”\” font-family:”=”" times=”">“The NPA in Eastern Visayas will capitalize on the election period in visiting the communities to pursue their so-called recovery and expansion efforts in the communities as revealed by their captured document,” Orense added.</span></p> <p></p></div>