NICA chief echoes Duterte, says Reds make billions
By Frances Mangosing / Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA — Communist insurgents had collected at least P5.8 billion between 2016 and 2018 to fund “terroristic activities” and to support the “lavish lifestyles” of their leaders, according to the head of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) on Monday (Aug. 2).
Alex Paul Monteagudo, NICA director general, made this claim at an online press conference, echoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement during his last State of the Nation Address on July 26. NICA is a member of the task force.
“Everyone is paying,” Duterte said at his final SONA, referring to revolutionary taxes supposedly being collected by Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Duterte said the amounts being collected by the rebels go to Jose Maria Sison, communist party founder who is in exile in The Netherlands.
Monteagudo said a substantial portion of the funds come from foreign donors who have been deceived by rebels.
Other sources of the funds were supposedly revolutionary taxes being imposed on businesses in rural and remote areas, Monteagudo said.
The NTF-Elcac, which has become controversial for being lavished with billions of pesos in taxpayer money for counterinsurgency, is now looking into individuals and at least 87 companies that had given funds to the rebels, Monteagudo said.
The list of suspects included congressmen, governors, and former senators, he said. Their identities were being withheld pending investigation, Monteagudo added.
“The NTF-Elcac is currently collecting and gathering evidence, affidavits and conducting financial investigation so we can file charges against persons or companies or corporations which continue to provide support to the communist terrorist groups,” Monteagudo said.