GOVERNMENT officials who are funding the New People’s Army (NPA) will be arrested once the court officially declares the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as a terrorist organization, The Manila Times learned recently.
Aside from those who serve as “fronts” of the CPP-NPA, national and local politicians such as governors, mayors, vice mayors, and barangay (village) captains will be included in the crackdown, well-placed military sources told The Times.
The sources said military officials have drafted lists containing the names of government officials who have been supporting the communist rebels by giving them money, firearms and ammunition.
One source said officials, particularly village chiefs from the tri-boundary areas of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Cagayan Valley, are on the list.
The source said all villages within the tri-boundary areas were either “affected” by the NPA or were hotbeds of insurgency.
Governors, mayors and vice mayors in some areas in Northern Luzon are also on the list, according to the source.
The military is gathering evidence, as well as witnesses, to prove that these officials were directly giving financial and armor support to the rebels.
“We are following the legal procedures and we are awaiting the declaration of the court. They might be arrested once the court issued its decision [that the CPP-NPA are terrorist organizations],” the source said.
He said the lists are updated on a regular basis based on the information gathered from NPA rebels who surrendered and from recovered subversive documents.
Aside from CAR and the Cagayan Valley region, some provinces in Central Luzon including Nueva Ecija and Bulacan are affected by the communist insurgency but these areas are “under control” by the military.
The source said the amount of funds being sent to the rebels is not less than P5 million.
“One million pesos is just a small amount for such transactions. The amount is not less than P5 million since we are talking about a big amount of money here,” he added.
He said some officials send their monetary support to the rebel group through banks. A representative of the NPA would withdraw the money by using ATMs.
“There are also instances when the NPA and the officials transact (business) through couriers coming from both sides,” the source added.
Sometimes, the official himself will hand the monetary support to the rebels if that official’s area is near the NPA lair, the source said.
But the sources said government authorities will move to arrest CPP/NPA supporters once they have gathered ample evidence to prove that these government officials have been giving support to communist rebels.
“Once a warrant has been released, that’s the time that we can arrest them for supporting terrorism,” one source said.
Last week, the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID) said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had asked the military to prepare a list of local officials who are supporting the rebels.
To be continued