The Philippine National Police ordered on Wednesday all of its offices and units to thwart schemes by the New People’s Army to generate funds during the election period, including outright extortion from electoral candidates.

President Duterte earlier warned rebels and political warlords to stay out of the national and local elections next year, stressing that New People’s Army rebels  should be prevented from collecting “permit-to-campaign” and “permit-to-win” fees from politicians.

“I am ordering our police to make sure that NPA rebels cannot carry out their extortion activities. We are expecting that they will take advantage of the election season to extort from candidates in the upcoming elections,” PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said on Wednesday.

“I am also reminding the candidates that they should not give in to these illegal activities of communist rebels. Let us work together to ensure that next year’s elections would be clean and orderly,” he added.

The PNP chief said the police would remain vigilant against rebels and other local threat groups before, during and even after the elections.

Eleazar also ordered all police regional and provincial directors to put on standby sufficient personnel that could be tapped for peace and order duties in anticipation of the influx of candidates filing their Certificate of Candidacy (COC) and Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) on October 8.

The PNP chief issued the order while appealing to candidates to refrain from turning the last day on the filing of COCs and CONAs into “super spreader events” for the Covid-19.

He dissuaded them from tagging along with them their supporters in filing their COCs.

Police forces across the country were earlier ordered to coordinate with the Comelec to ensure peace and order and enforce public health and safety in the filing of COCs and CONAs from October 1 to October 8.

Eleazar said that the filing of COCs and CONAs had been generally peaceful and orderly as of Wednesday.





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