DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 January) — The city police office on Tuesday said some politicians have allegedly been asked by the New Peoples’ Army to pay permit-to-campaign fees.
City police spokesperson Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz cited a military report that they have obtained documents on the alleged extortion demands.
But Driz clarified they are yet to verify if the claims of the candidates are true.
She added they will send personnel to areas where the candidates would be campaigning to preempt attacks by any armed group.
She said they are preparing their personnel for the start of the election campaign on Feb. 8.
Driz said the police will work closely with the military to clear the areas of armed groups.
The Police Regional Office 11 placed two areas in the city under category 2 of election watchlist, namely: Paquibato and Marilog Districts.
Category 2 means there is a presence of armed groups in the community.
Earlier, Commission on Elections 11 assistant regional director Marlon Casquejo said that paying permit-to-campaign fees to the NPA is a ground for disqualification.
He said military personnel may file a disqualification case against candidates who pay such fees to the NPA.
He said it can be considered as a form of cash donation, which is prohibited during the election period from January 10 to June 8, 2016. The gun ban also takes effect during this period. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)