Paying “permit to campaign” and/or “permit to win” fees to CPP-NPA in exchange to freely campaign in hinterlands within their influence is a ground for the candidates’ disqualification.

     With the 2022 national and local elections fast approaching, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10, reminds Northern Mindanao candidates to never resort paying “permit to campaign” and “permit to win” fees to Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s’ Army (CPP-NPA) this campaign season.

     “Financing the CPP-NPA will only support their terror activities and fuel their campaign against the democratic way of life. As such, this will make our candidates criminally and administratively liable under our laws,” DILG 10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe said.

     With this, he reiterated DILG Secretary Eduardo Año’s statement, saying that the Department is ready to file cases against candidates and have them disqualified once proven that they have given any kind of support to terrorist groups.

     Under DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-26, the said scheme is a clear form of extortion and is a violation of the sanctity of the right to suffrage.

     Thus, measures are also being taken to ensure that all candidates and political parties are allowed to an unhampered entrance in every local government unit.

     Also, peace and order shall be ensured in all areas, including those considered as hotbeds of insurgency. In this way, candidates and political parties would have access to the electorate during the campaign season without fear of intimidation or manipulation by any group.

     “The DILG could not do all of these alone, hence, we are also calling the full cooperation of our Local Chief Executives to ensure that the manipulative schemes such as “permit to campaign” will not happen within their LGUs,” RD Agabe said.

     Moreover, the public is also urged to initiate complaints against officials who shall commit the said violations. (DILG 10/RO/LGOO II Rezza Mae B. Tolinero)