'Communist rebels raked in P5.4B'
The New People's Army (NPA), the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and their front organizations raked in P5.4 billion from politicians, foreign donors and other sources to fund "terroristic activities" from 2016 to 2018, the head of the nation's top intelligence coordinating agency said.
Alex Monteagudo, director-general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), said the bulk of the funds collected by the rebel groups came from foreign donors.
Monteagudo, a retired police general, explained that the foreign donors have been "deceived" by the CPP "into giving donations using issues on human rights and indigenous people."
Aside from the foreign donations, he claimed that rebels have been collecting "revolutionary tax" from businessmen especially in far-flung areas.
The amount collected was used "to support the lifestyle of their leaders," he said, alluding to key officials of the CPP-NPA-NDF led by its chairman Jose Maria "Joma" Sison who sought political asylum in The Netherlands.
Monteagudo said that a high-ranking rebel "has admitted that the communist rebels could not afford to stop their extortion activities as these have become an important part of their 'livelihood'."
The NICA chief was referring to Jorge Madlos alias "Ka Oris", with whom he had a conversation "years ago" about the alleged extortion activities. Madlos headed the NPA's National Operational Command.
Monteagudo also alleged that other schemes done by the rebels are using "front organizations like the party-list groups in Congress."
He claimed that 60 percent of the collected funds "were directly coursed [through] to the [CPP-NPA] Central Committee based on the testimonies of surrenderers who also revealed there is corruption within the party."
The government, the official added, is now going after politicians who have reportedly been supporting the rebels by providing cash, guns and food especially during elections.
Without naming names, he said these include representatives, governors, vice governors and even former senators.
Also being investigated are 87 companies "who financially supported or gave-in to the CPP-NPA-NDF extortion activities."
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is also investigating 18 international non-government organizations that supposedly provided financial aid to the communist group's "project proposals bearing false advocacies with their allied organizations and the party-list groups."
AMLC Deputy Director Jerry Leal said that the donations "varied from millions of euros to thousands of dollars based on what the communist-terrorist groups have asked from the donors."
He said that the AMLC traced the transactions and was able to identify the countries where the money came from, the bank where the donations were coursed and the individuals who withdrew the funds.