Friday, April 5, 2019

‘Funding Reds may turn into transnational crime’

From the Manila Times (Apr 6, 2019): ‘Funding Reds may turn into transnational crime’

The Armed Forces of the Philippines warned homeland security officials in Asia-Pacific countries that the “funding schemes” perpetrated by groups linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) could become a “transnational crime problem.”

Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade, the military’s deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations, sought the cooperation of various nations to fight the “wide international network” of the organizations “infiltrated” by the CPP.

In his speech at the Milipol Asia-Pacific 2019 conference held in Singapore on Thursday, Parlade said some groups have been “masking themselves” as humanitarian nongovernment organizations “to secure funds from international donors — which are used to conduct terrorist activities.”

According to him, the CPP established an international network composed of 252 organizations based in 39 countries. It also set up 16 chapters across the world through the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) headed by CPP founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.

“We foresee that this problem, if not checked, can turn out to be a hybrid scheme that can be a transnational crime problem,” Parlade said.

“The purpose of this presentation is to make you aware that there is such a thing and because of how intricate these international funding is being done, it may not be in our radar,” he added.

Parlade named some Philippine-based organizations that are supposedly connected with the ILPS.

These groups include IBON Foundation, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Karapatan and National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers.

These organizations, the official said, were found to be conducting “international solidarity missions where they publish inaccurate to portray a tyrant and oppressive Philippine government.”

“At the same time, they lobby funds from foreign institutions claiming that they will be used for projects to solve the fabricated issues, but will rather be used to fund terrorist activities,” Parlade claimed.

Earlier this year, a contingent from the Philippine government went to Belgium to inform officials there that some groups being funded by the European Union were using the money to conduct activities linked to the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.

Belgian Ambassador to the Philippines Michael Goffin said Brussels is investigating the matter.

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