As campaign season kicks off, AFP chief orders troops to stop NPA rebels from “extorting”

(Eagle News)—The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday, Feb. 12, called on soldiers to stop the New People’s Army from extorting.

AFP Chief General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. made the call on the same day the campaign season for candidates running for national positions kicked off.

According to Madrigal, while there were areas where the NPA has been declared persona non grata, it would be best to be “on the lookout” for the “extortion” activities.

President Rodrigo Duterte ended peace talks with the rebels in November 2017 for their alleged atrocities that include the killing of a baby and of soldiers while talks were ongoing, and the extortion activities.

Only recently, Duterte expressed willingness to resume peace talks again on the condition the rebels stop the illicit activities.

But Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison rejected Duterte’s condition, saying the “people’s government” needed the “revolutionary taxes.”

Duterte again slammed the rebels following Sison’s statement.

“Ang gobyerno amin,” Duterte had said.