Saturday, November 25, 2017

Army: legal fronts said to benefit from NPA extortion

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 23): Army: legal fronts said to benefit from NPA extortion

THE 10TH Infantry Division claimed to have received reports that the alleged legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines are getting financing support through the New People’s Army’s extortion activities.
Meanwhile, the army reminded the business sectors not to give in to the demand of the communist rebels.

Speaking on Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at Royal Mandaya hotel, Capt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of 10th Infantry division, supported President Rodrigo Duterte’s assessment that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines itself is a beneficiary of the extortion money.
“Here in 10th ID, we will look into it and investigate the matter,” he said, adding that in the guise of revolutionary tax, the NPA has been wringing businesses dry.

He said the business sector should work closely with the army and the police to report the harassment by the NPA, or those claiming to be with the communist group.

“We assure everyone that the military is prepared and has deployed troops to conduct assistance and strength the security operations,” he added, as he urged the public to report to them any presence of armed men in their communities.

For now, he said that they already earned the trust of the communities, which immediately report the presence of NPA rebels in their respective areas.

On the other hand, Supt Julius Borja, the deputy provincial director for operations of Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office (DNPPO), said they serve as support for the military in fighting the communist rebels, as well as addressing extortion complaints.

“Maybe the establishments are afraid but we also call the business sectors not to support the extortion activities of the rebels so that they can’t produce more resources,” Borja said. “Report any information you know so that we can address it.”

On Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he directed legal counsel Salvador Panelo to draft a memorandum declaring the NPA as a terrorist group following the series of attacks throughout the country.

Duterte also said the communist legal fronts should also be charged for conspiring with the NPA in its extortion activities, harassment and ambushes.