A provincial board member on Thursday urged the New People's Army (NPA) to spare the poor on its offensives against the government.
Board Member Nemesio Neron said he is receiving persistent reports that several groups believed to be insurgent members are engaged in extortion in the hinterlands.
"In the national scale, we have been receiving reports of offensives by the insurgents against the government. Maybe the NPA wanted to show that they are a force to reckon with. I understand that President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a war against the NPA. I just hope that the poor people will be spared," Neron said.
Earlier, the Aklan Provincial Police Office denied the information aired by Neron about alleged group of men extorting the poor in the hinterlands. "I understand that the police would deny such because the poor people are afraid to come to the open thinking that they may be harmed. I got the information from the police and armed forces retirees. I will soon bring the information to the provincial peace and order council meeting," said Neron, himself a retired police general.
He said there are persistent reports on extortion activities in the hinterland barangays of the towns of Malinao, Madalag, Batan, Balete and Altavas. Some of the poor people were also asked, in absence of money, some physical properties available.
Unconfirmed reports also indicate that armed men are seen passing by the hinterlands of Malay town.
The Aklan province has been declared and still an insurgent-free province since 2012.