The country’s Anti-Terrorism Council has warned the public against providing financial and material support to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front.
The warning came just as the country is bracing for the May 2022 elections wherein the CPP/NPA/NDF have a long history of imposing permit to campaign fees on political candidates in rebel-infested/influenced villages in the country.
But more importantly, the ATC reminded the public that the CPP/NPA/NDF has been labeled as terrorist organizations under ATC Resolutions 12-2020 and 21-2021 pursuant to the provision of Republic Act 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020.
Any person or group who provide material support to a terrorist or terror organization shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment if found guilty of violating the ATA.
Those who also provide financial support to any terrorist or terror group may suffer a prison term of 12 up to 20 years, or life imprisonment and will be fined up to P1 million if found guilty.
The ATA also tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to warn the public that the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act has authorized the Anti-Money Laundering Council, upon its own initiative, or at the request of ATC, to freeze property or funds that are related to terrorism financing.
The Cordillera remains one of the regions in the country where sightings of the rebel groups such as the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) were reported.
Of late, several NPA members were killed during armed encounter with government forces in Northern Luzon.
Recovered documents from the CPP/NPA show that the underground movement raises and collects funds through extortion and revolutionary taxation, including collection of permit to campaign fees from politicians.
The AFP reported that former ranking rebels revealed that fees collected from political candidates are pro-rated based on the positions these politicians sought.
The government also reported that the CPP/NPA collect funds from mining and telecommunications companies, construction firms and other businesses.
Rebels also allegedly received firearms, combat boots, clothes and technical equipment from donors. – Harley F. Palangchao