The New People's Army still controls a considerable area in the Philippine countryside. They often collect revolutionary taxes from locals and businesses operating in their territory. With upcoming elections in May they are busy collecting fees from candidates that allows them to campaign in areas they control. Often areas controlled by the NPA are represented in the government by elected politicians who support the rebels. The NPA Maoist in orientation and has been active for over half a century now. My Filipina wife owned property in an area infiltrated by the NPA but we managed to sell it. The presence of the NPA does not help property values though!
11 soldiers dead in NPA ambush in Oriental Mindoro
By Dennis Maliwanag
MANILA, Philippines-(UPDATE 2) Eleven Philippine Army soldiers were killed Saturday morning in an ambush by suspected communist rebels in the southern Oriental Mindoro town of Mansalay, a military official said.
A platoon of government troops was responding to a report of communist election extortion when waylaid by New People's Army rebels at around 5:30 a.m. in the village of Panaytayan, said Colonel Carlos Quita, provincial military commander in Oriental Mindoro.
"The security patrols and relocation of troops are being implemented to ensure freedom of movement of the candidates when the campaign starts," Quita said.
He vowed to intensify government's drive to stop NPA rebels from exacting "campaign fees" from local candidates gunning for various posts in the May 10 polls.
Quita said the "permit to win" and "permit to campaign extortion schemes" of the NPA are depriving electorate in rebel-infested areas from freely choosing their next political leaders.
The rebels have been demanding extortion payments from candidates in exchange for "permits to campaign" cards. Those who refuse to pay are attacked and sometimes killed. With Agence France-Presse