Brigadier Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, commander of the Philippine Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade, did not mince words in his warning to politicians who intend to bring private armed groups (PAG) to the province for the midterm polls.
“Hindi lang dismantle, we will destroy them. We will run after them, we will engage them in firefight,” said Madriaga during Bohol’s commemoration of the Provincial Day of Peace on Monday.
According to Madriaga, the Army will remain impartial and will go after PAGs from whichever political faction.
“Sa mga politiko na may planong magdala ng PAGs dito sa Bohol, wag niyo nang ituloy…regardless kung kanino yan,” he said.
The AFP and the Philippine National Police have been tasked to maintain tight security measures for the nearing elections.
Madriaga however noted that the number of PAGs in Bohol remained “insignificant.”
“Fortunately dito sa Bohol, konti na talaga armed group dito, very insignificant for them to do significant activities,” he said.
In the same statement to media, Madriaga also reminded candidates for the 2019 midterm elections not to pay the NPA’s (New People’s Army) so-called “permit to campaign” (PTC) fee.
Paying the fee, otherwise known as the “permit to win” fee, would be considered as support to the rebel group, he said.
“Once na nagbigay kayo, malalaman din namin ‘yan. Merong repercussion yan. Pag nagbigay kayo, you will be supporting a terrorist organization, parang in effect ganun,” he added. (R. Tutas)