LP senatorial bet lawyer Alex “Pinoy” Lacson called on presidential candidates to reject any attempt by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to extort payment for “permits to campaign,” saying that paying was tantamount to funding an insurgency that was costing a lot of lives and sets back development efforts in the past six decades.
A study by the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) claims that communist rebels raised P1.5 billion during the 2004 elections and P2 billion in the 2007 elections from the permit-to-campaign fees.
“When candidates pay for these PTCs, they are not just paying for the right to campaign––they are funding an armed insurgency, paying for the bullets that end the lives of those who have sworn to defend the Constitution: our soldiers.”
The author of the hit book “12 Things I Can Do To Help My Country,” who was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy before studying law at the University of the Philippines, stressed that the EDSA Revolution showed that change could be achieved through non-violent means.
“The NPA took up arms and for years tried to topple Ferdinand Marcos; but it was the rosary-carrying people who peacefully rallied at EDSA who ended the Marcos dictatorship,” he said.
Lacson added that paying for the campaign permits only served to fuel Asia’s longest-running insurgency.
“Many of us have problems with the way government is being run and want a brighter future for our children, but history has shown us that advancing this cause through armed struggle has only done our country more harm than good,” said Lacson.#