CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – The Philippine Army in the Bicol Region uncovered the attempted P2.2M extortion by the CPP-NPA-NDF against an aspiring lawmaker in Catanduanes Island.
In a press conference held in 83IB headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Basco, Commander of the 83rd Infantry Battalion, said that, “Based on the recovered documents taken from the combat pack of the dead rebel commander, I found out that the NPA bandits have demanded P2.2M from an aspiring Congressman as his PTC/PTW fees during this upcoming national and local elections.”.
A comprehensive report that Basco submitted to Major General Ruperto Pabustan, 9ID Commander, also revealed that the Nerissa San Juan Command of the CPP-NPA-NDF had distributed color-coded permit-to-win/permit-to-campaign (PTC/PTW) cards to local politicians who are running for local posts in the island province.
Major Harold Cabunoc, 9ID Spokesperson, said that two high-powered firearms and an enemy bodycount were recovered from the scene of the one-hour firefight with the bandit group in Bgy Maysuram, Caramoran Catanduanes on 19 February 2010.
The dead bandit leader was later identified by Army intelligence agents as a certain Ka Lito (TNU) of Samahang District Gerilya (SDG), who was pinpointed as “a veteran terrorist leader coming from mainland Bicol”. More than 500 PTC/PTW cards, already signed by the NPA Commander of the Nerissa San Juan Command, were recovered by government forces.
According to Basco, based on the color-coding scheme, a yellow PTC is for aspiring congressmen with a price tag as high as P2-Million. Blue PTC cards are also meant for baranggay level politicians with an equivalent extortion demand as high as P10,000.00-P20,000.00.
The CPP-NPA-NDF’s rampant extortion activities on politicians for this year was first documented after an encounter with the 49th Infantry Battalion in Bgy Ginangra, Magallanes, Sorsogon on January 10, 2010.
The Sorsogon encounter netted 7 high-powered firearms and voluminous subversive documents stating the extortion demands on politicians who are running for local posts.
Pabustan has consistently directed the Philippine Army forces in the whole Bicol Region to intensify its security operations to neutralize all NPA extortionists after receiving numerous complaints from various politicians about the extortion attempts by NPA bandit members.