Sunday, March 31, 2013

NPA attacks decline in first quarter

From the Manila Times (Mar 31): NPA attacks decline in first quarter

NEW People’s Army (NPA)-initiated violent incidents (NIVIs) during the first three months of the year has significantly decreased by 33 percent with 61 cases, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

During the last quarter of the previous year, 91 NPA attacks were tallied.

Military spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. on Sunday attributed the decrease to the NPA’s shift from the imposition of revolutionary tax to the imposition of permit-to-campaign (PTC) and alleged permit-to-win (PTW) fees on politicians running for the coming mid-term election.

According to Burgos, of the 61 NIVIs this quarter, 49 percent were harassments of AFP and Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary (CAA) detachments while the rest were alleged criminal activities.

Burgos, however, stressed that the AFP will not let its guard down.

“We will continue our intensified intelligence and monitoring efforts, intelligence exchange with other law-enforcement agencies, and active cooperation with the Philippine National Police to thwart any atrocities, violence and extortion activities in relation to PTC/PTW,” he said.

In February, documents recovered by the military confirmed reports that the rebels, specifically those in Northern Luzon and in Eastern Visayas, have started sending quotes for PTC and PTW fees to candidates vying for public office in the May election.

The said documents showed that those running for governor are charged P5 million; congressman, P500,000; vice governor, P500,000, board member, P100,000; mayor, P100,000; vice mayor, P75,000 and councilor, P50,000.

Records show that in 2012, the NPA has collected a total of P25,005,000 through the imposition of the cited fees.

According to Burgos, the AFP will continue to undertake serious actions to put a stop to the NPA’s “extortion schemes and terroristic activities”.

The military likewise encouraged candidates, owners of businesses, as well as ordinary citizens to speak out and immediately report to proper authorities incidents of extortion.

The AFP, at the same time, also reiterated its appeal to politicians and businessmen alike not to give in to the NPA’s demands.

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