House Speaker Prospero Nograles has raised P5 million in reward for the capture of New Peoples Army (NPA) rebel commander Leoncio ” Parago” Pitao as communist rebels warned Nograles against campaigning in rebel territories as he seeks Davao City’s mayoral seat in May.
The bounty which raised to P10 million the total prize on the head of the elusive rebel commander comes after Parago two weeks ago held political campaigners of Nograles in farflung Paquibato district. The military has a standing P5 million reward for the capture dead or alive of Parago, head of the NPA 1st Pulang Bagani Command which operates in the Davao City-Davao del Norte-Bukidnon tri-boundary.
Representative Pastor Alcover said in Davao City on Wednesday that Nograles has raised the additional bounty for the capture of Parago, who has warned Nograles against campaigning in rebel-controlled areas without permission from the communist movement.
Nograles is running against Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, who is leading pre-poll surveys.
Nograles has seen Paquibato as a vote-rich district and crucial to the May polls and has blamed Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for the heavy presence of communist rebels in the area.
Alcover of the Anad, an anti-communist partylist group, is openly campaigning for the candidacy of Nograles along with Bantaypartylist representative retired Army general Jovito Palparan, also a rabid anti-ommunist.
Alcover and Palparan, along with Nograles, have accused Mayor Duterte of supporting the communist movement leading to growing strength of the insurgents in Davao City.