DAVAO CITY – The New People’s Army set up a checkpoint in an unpopulated part of the national highway in Agusan del Sur at the start of the campaign period for national candidates, in a move meant to warn politicians who are entering the areas where the revolutionary groups operate to abide by their policies.
Maria Malaya, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front said their policies relating to the elections have long been enforced, “and so the violation of these will surely derail the campaign of politicians/candidates or prevent them from campaigning.”
The NPA’s Front 21 on February 9 set up a checkpoint in the national highway in Purok 2, Mabuhay, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur at around 6:00 in the morning.
Some 25 vehicles were prevented from passing through for more than 10 minutes in the Davao-Butuan national highway.
In a news report in Mindanao Gold Star Daily, an estimate of 20 to 50 NPA fighters put up the check point at an area located three to four kilometers from the nearest headquarters of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion.
An Army official was quoted as saying that they were able to fire at the NPAs after the checkpoint.
In a statement, the NDF cited few of the policies related to campaign activities of candidates within the revolutionary territory which include:
- The revolutionary movement forbids candidates from bringing firearms while campaigning so as not to harass the people;
- Candidates are forbidden to be escorted by AFP forces to avoid being caught in the crossfire as the NPA might launch tactical offensives against them;
- Candidates that will campaign should obtain permission from the concerned NPA unit before entering the barrios so you will not be barred;
- If for any justified reason a candidate would have to have armed PNP escorts, he should coordinate with the concerned NPA unit.
Malaya said the Regional Operational Command (ROC) of the NPA-NEMR commands all units of the Red Fighters to implement appropriate action against candidates who will violate the revolutionary policies.
“Based on this, we encourage all supporters of candidates and the masses to remind politicians about the revolutionary policies imposed on campaigning if they will enter your areas so they will not be disrupted,” she said.
Malaya also clarified that they have not taken a single belonging from anyone during their checkpoint.
“The AFP spokesperson maliciously announced that Red Fighters confiscated the personal belongings of one retired Master Sergeant of the AFP during the checkpoint. The AFP declared this to besmirch the NPA,” said Malaya. (davaotoday.com)