The National Democratic Front (NDF) reminded on December 26 those candidates in the 2016 general elections to set aside funds if they wish to campaign in rebel-held territories in the country.
On the 47th foundation of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NDF Far South Mindanao spokesman “Ka Efren” said that candidates who are planning to campaign in the NPA strongholds need to get “permit to campaign (PTC)” from them.
Ka Efren claimed that they have the right to impose fees and other “revolutionary taxes” as they have established “parallel” governments in many areas in Mindanao and throughout the country.
When asked about how much each candidate should give, Ka Efren declined to reply. However, candidates for provincial governors in Mindanao are said to have paid up to P1 million, and senatoriables even paid higher in past elections, report said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had earlier warned candidates not to give in to the extortion activities of the communist rebels.
However among the presidential aspirants for May 2016 elections, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has a different view. In a report by DavaoToday.com, Duterte was quoted “I cannot put it to a stop. So factor that in your investments. If you pay to the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), you prepare also for the NPA.” when asked if businesses in Mindanao need to pay revolutionary taxes to the rebel group.