Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte warned Monday local candidates running under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago-Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HNP-HTL) alliance that they would be dropped from the regional political party if they would pay the communist New People’s Army’s (NPA) permit-to-campaign extortion scheme.
“The alliance will outright junk candidates who will be giving in to the demands of the NPA, a terrorist organization behind countless of horrendous crimes against the people,” said Duterte, who heads HTL.
He said candidates paying the NPA are “terrorists themselves.”
Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte, issued in 2017 a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as terrorist organizations.
The presidential son noted that in some far-flung areas, the NPA rebels extort money from the candidates so that they could campaign in the place.
But he said the NPA’s extortion scheme is an “absolute travesty of the essence of the election.”
“Paying the NPA is tantamount to bowing down to them and subscribing to their destructive ideology. It is also as good as playing blind to the crimes they committed in the past, and supporting the crimes and more acts of terrorism they will commit in the future,” said the younger Duterte, who is running for a congressional seat in Davao City.