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Troops ordered to stop Reds from collecting campaign fees from bets

The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday called on soldiers to stop communist rebels  from extorting money especially this election season.

"Be on the lookout especially for extortionists. Ang maganda rito ngayon may mga areas na nag-declare na nga ng persona non grata ang NPA (New People's Army) so itong mga lugar na 'to, definitely inaano natin na hindi na talaga makapag-extort itong NPA terrorists na ito," AFP chief General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. told reporters.

Madrigal said Compostela Valley as well as some barangays in Eastern Mindanao already pronounced the NPA as persona non grata in their respective areas.

Madrigal further called on government troops to remain "non-partisan" as well as to ensure that the public would freely and safely exercise their right to vote this coming midterm polls in May. 

"Of course 'yung sinasabi rin natin sa ating kasundaluhan that to remain non-partisan and to make sure na ang role natin dito sa political exercise is to make sure that our people will be able to freely exercise their right to vote and of course to make sure that the elections will be safe, secured and orderly," Madrigal said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/NB, GMA News