Expose pols aiding the enemy, urges Gonzales
Quezon City (25 January) -- Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines to expose politicians providing aid to the New People's Army by paying the latter permit-to-campaign and permit-to-win taxes this election season.
Gonzales yesterday said he told officers of the Southern Luzon Command in his recent visit to Camp Nakar, Quezon to expose politicians who are helping the enemy, particularly those who do so willingly.
Gonzales said the Solcom officers reported to him that there were "politicians of national prominence" who were "friendly to the rebels" and were "readily submitting" to the latter's extortion activities.
The defense chief quoted Solcom officers as reporting to him that NPA military offensives and non-violent activities had steadily declined in Solcom's area of responsibility but the rebels' election-related extortion activities remained particularly in Southern Tagalog.
"I was informed NPA (election-related) extortion activities even broadened in Quezon where there are politicians of national prominence who are friendly to the rebels and readily submit to their extortion," Gonzales said.
In contrast, Gonzales said, there are also politicians resisting the rebels' extortion like the governor of Mindoro who is supporting the military in its fight against the NPA.
According to the defense chief, the rebels' extortion racket in Batangas is suspended after soldiers captured three key NPA "tax" collectors in the province last January 13.
He said Solcom officers are talking to election candidates telling them not to fear the NPA and assuring them of military protection as needed.
Gonzales has also recently disclosed that NPA guerillas are serving as goons to some politicians running in the May election. (PIA) [top]