Officials announced Wednesday that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) was able to collect P5.8 billion in international donations and revolutionary taxes between 2016 and 2018.
The funds were purportedly used by communists to fund terrorist actions and support their leaders’ lifestyles.
In a virtual press biefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) said a large percentage of the funds came from foreign donors who were duped by what the government and military now consider a communist terrorist group.
According to the NICA, the communist party used human rights and indigenous peoples (IPs) issues to get supporters to donate.
“Malambot ang puso ng mga foreign donors,” said NICA director general Alex Paul Monteagudo, saying that the CPP-NPA-NDF plan can no longer be used in the country because Filipinos are aware of its intricacies.
Another source of income for communists, according to Monteagudo, is the “revolutionary tax,” which NPA rebels levy and collect from enterprises in rural and remote locations.
“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 claimed that a high-ranking communist official had revealed to him that the rebels couldn’t afford to discontinue extortion because it had become an essential source of income for them.
“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.
Based on the statements of the surrenderees, Monteagudo stated that 60% of the gathered funds were routed to the CPP-NPA-central NDF’s committee.
He stated that the NICA is investigating congressmen, governors, vice governors, and former senators who have provided support to communists.