By NITZ ARANCON
FOURTH Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal has ordered Army soldiers in northern Mindanao and Caraga to fortify their positions and leave no room for the New People’s Army (NPA) to carry out its operations in the two regions especially during the May elections.
Gacal also ordered military units to conduct combat operations in an effort to drive NPA guerrillas away from areas where politicians would be campaigning.
He said he gave the order following reports that the NPA in the two regions have started demanding “campaign fees” or protection money from candidates.
“Kapag naggi-give in tayo palagi sa NPA, lalo natin pinapahaba ang problema natin. Kasi kapag meron silang resources diyan na ang kanilang mga recruitments, kanilang pagbili ng supply, pagsuporta sa kanilang atrocities against sa ating bayan,” said Gacal.