Press Release
March 9, 2010

Villar denies paying off rebels to campaign

DAVAO CITY (March 9) - Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar on Tuesday denied paying " tax" to the New People's Army (NPA) to be able to campaign in areas reportedly "under the influence" of insurgents.

Neither does he know of other national politicians who pay such "campaign" levies because most of them still rely on media as the best way to campaign, Villar said.

He told reporters here that there are "many lists" where his name is included but definitely not in the alleged military roster of politicians paying taxes to insurgent groups to be able to campaign.

Villar clarified that while there are some progressive candidates in the NP senatorial slate, they are the ones who are fighting to end poverty and for the protection of human rights, especially of the poor.

On other allegations that he was paying campaign taxes to the NPA, Villar said it could be part of another spin against him as the presidential election draws near.

"Araw-araw mayroong bago. Mayroong mansion, mayroong nakipagkita sa president. Mayroong nagbayad (sa NPA)," he told reporters.

Such allegations were proof that his enemies would never stop until they were able to derail his presidential bid but he is confident people will not believe in those lies.

"Marunong na ang mga tao ngayon at hindi na sila basta naniniwala sa mga bintang na ganyan," he said.

Villar also said he finds no difficulty in campaigning because, like other candidates, his group normally visits swing vote towns and urban centers.

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