After imposing permit-to-campaign fees, and permits to win, the New People’s Army is now also offering support to candidates for the Oct. 28 barangay elections, the military said.
Two candidates for barangay captain in northern Negros sought advice from the Philippine Army on what to do with the offer of the NPA to support their candidacies.
Lt. Col. Efren Morados, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, who concealed their identities for security reasons said yesterday that he discouraged the two candidates from accepting the offer, adding that it will do them more harm than good.
If they win, the NPA will blackmail and intimidate them because of their support, Morados added.
Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said they are closely monitoring the 31 barangays, where the NPA have established influence, and four others, where the presence of private armed groups was monitored.
Aying said they have also received reports of candidates being supported by the NPA.
Six days before the Oct. 28 barangay elections, the 62nd Infantry Battalion and 6th Special Action Battalion of the Philippine National Police yesterday started their security caravan from Manapla, Cadiz, Sagay and Escalante City, to project a “show of force” to lawless groups and individuals, who may coerce and intimidate voters.
A total of 120 barangays in Negros Occidental have been classified as “areas of concern”, in connection with the barangay elections.
Morados said the security caravan will roam around the election areas of concern until Friday, before positioning their forces on Oct. 26 for election duties, to secure the transport of ballot boxes and election paraphernalia. *GPB