Agence France-Presse, via ABS-CBNNews.com, reports that rebels from the communist group New People’s Army (NPA) extorted a total of ₱26 million or US$634,000 from politicians who campaigned during the recently-concluded midterm elections.
According to the report, an army general had warned before the May 13 elections that "candidates were paying between ₱50,000 and ₱5 million to buy protection from the rebels." The NPA, it said, has "in the past used elections in the Philippines to raise funds by demanding that politicians pay them to campaign without being harassed."
Military spokesperson Major Ramon Zagala however said in the report that the total amount NPA extorted "was far short of the ₱500" it aimed to collect because of increased military activity during the campaign season.
For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBNNews.com.