Thursday, May 06, 2010

NPA rebels seize supporters of Philippines House Speaker

House Speaker Prospero Nograles

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 6, 2010) – Communist rebels briefly held 5 people campaigning for the candidacy of Philippines House Speaker Prospero Nograles who is running for mayor in Davao City in the restive region of Mindanao, a military spokesman told the Mindanao Examiner on Thursday.

Captain Emmanuel Garcia, of the 10th Infantry Division, said some 30 New People’s Army rebels seized the 5 men while they were campaigning on a village in Davao City’s Tugbok District late Wednesday.

He said the men were interrogated and freed unharmed several hours later.

“The victims were lectured by the rebels on election rules of the NPA and they want them to follow those rules. The rebels also told them not to vote for Nograles,” Garcia said.

Nograles is a staunch military supporter and is running against Davao City vice mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of incumbent mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is seeking a congressional seat against the solon’s son lawyer Karlo Nograles, in the May 10 general elections.

“The NPA is clearly meddling in the elections. They are intimidating and coercing people thru the barrel of the gun and robbing our people of their freedom to exercise their right to suffrage and free from any threat. This is a total disregard to the right of the people,” Garcia said.

NPA rebels on Wednesday also abducted a town mayor and four of his police and military aides after blocking highway near Agusan del Sur province also in Mindanao.

More than two dozen rebels seized Mayor Roberto Luna Jnr of Lingig town and two soldiers and two policemen escorting him.

The motive of the attack was unknown, but the NPA earlier warned politicians campaigning for the elections should pay so-called “campaign fees” in areas where the rebels are actively operating.

The rebels have so far disarmed politicians and their bodyguards and torched their campaign vehicles the past weeks for their failure to pay the NPA. The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is waging a secessionist war for the past four decades now. (Mindanao Examiner)

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