‘CPP-NPA collected P5.8 billion in foreign donations’
By Michael Punongbayan / The Philippine Star
MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) was allegedly able to collect P5.8 billion in foreign donations and revolutionary taxes from 2016 to 2018, officials said yesterday.
The money was allegedly used by the communists to finance their terrorist activities and support the lifestyles of their leaders.
In a virtual press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) said a majority of the funds came from foreign donors who were deceived by what the government and the military now consider as a communist terrorist group.
The NICA said the communist group exploited the issues on human rights and indigenous peoples (IPs) to convince their donors to donate.
“Malambot ang puso ng mga foreign donors,” NICA director general Alex Paul Monteagudo said, noting the CPP-NPA-NDF can no longer use the same scheme in the country as Filipinos are aware of its ways.
Monteagudo said that another source of the communists’ funding is the “revolutionary tax,” which NPA guerrillas impose and extort from businesses in rural and remote areas.
“Aside from terrorism, the funds were also used to support the lifestyle of their leaders allegedly like Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, who was supposedly using the money to finance his son’s education in Poland, as mentioned by President Duterte during his last State of the Nation Address,” Monteagudo said.
He said a ranking communist official once admitted to him that the rebels could not afford to stop their extortion activities as these have become an important part of their livelihood.
“Hindi pwede. Dahil ito na ang aming pamumuhay o livelihood,” CPP-NPA-NDF official Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, head of the NPA‘s National Operational Command, allegedly told Monteagudo during their meeting years ago.
Monteagudo said 60 percent of the collected funds were coursed to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s central committee, based on the testimonies of the surrenderees.
He said said the NICA is looking into individuals who have provided support to the communists, including congressmen, governors, vice governors and former senators.