CPP-NPA-NDF rake in millions from poll extortions
MANILA – Tens of millions of pesos are being raked in by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) during election season through their “permit to campaign” and “permit to win” extortion schemes.
Intelligence reports obtained by National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) revealed that the CPP-NPA-NDF is extorting millions of pesos from politicians who wish to campaign and win in areas that they infest and terrorize.
During the weekly ‘virtual’ press conference of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday, NICA Deputy Director-General Abelardo Villacorta said that “for them to be able to campaign” during elections, the amount of “PHP2 to PHP4 million” must be paid by candidates vying “for gubernatorial and congressional positions; PHP1 to PHP2 million for vice gubernatorial positions,” while city mayors must shell out PHP500,000 to PHP1 million and councilors from PHP500,000 to PHP800,000.
Villacorta said 60 percent of the collections go to the CPP national organization while the remaining 40 percent will be used locally by the NPA to fund their terrorist activities.
He also revealed that the CPP-NPA-NDF will sometimes use “barangay officials as their negotiators” for extortions.
The Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG), Villacorta added, are now planning to get hold of presidential candidates whom they should support for some sort of “alliance building”.
Former CPP-NPA cadre and former spokesperson of the NDF-Far South Mindanao Region (NDF-FSMR) Noel “Ka Efren” Legaspi confirmed the NICA intelligence reports, saying that the CTGs are imposing rates called “rata”— an amount intended to be paid by each candidate based on the positions they are running for and their capacity to pay.
Legaspi said during his time, “for congressman and governor the ‘rata’ ranges from PHP1.5 million to PHP3 million”.
“Ang vice governor medyo mababa. Depende naman sa status ng siyudad ang sa mga mayors, PHP1 to PHP2 million. Ang councilors PHP20,000 to PHP100,000 (It is lower for vice governor. On the other hand, it depends on the status cities for the mayors, PHP1 to PHP2 million. The councilors PHP20,000 to PHP100,000),” he said.
He added that some concessions or negotiations can also be arranged for those who are asking for a lower price.
“Pwedeng manegotiate. Hihingi na lang ang CTG ng iba’t ibang (Negotiation is allowed. The CTG would just ask for different) logistics, like firearms, bota (to serve as their combat shoes) uniforms, generators, projectors and electronic gadgets,” Legaspi said.
Legaspi also exposed during the virtual presser that the CPP-NPA-NDF have been fielding real cadres as candidates every election period.
He said these candidates are disguised as representatives of supposedly aggrieved sectors or mass organizations through the Party-list system.
Legaspi said the CPP-NPA-NDF cadres are allegedly from the Makabayan Bloc members in the House of Representative, such as Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Kabataan, Act Teachers, and Gabriela.
“Lahat ng nominees doon ay cadre (All nominees are cadres),” Legaspi said, noting that the CTGs are also fielding their candidates at the local levels to penetrate and overthrow the government.
Legaspi said that every election period, the CPP-NPA-NDF categorize the candidates into three—the non-progressive, progressive, and their own candidates like the members of the Makabayan Bloc who already gained several representations in Congress since the start of the Party-list system.
He added that ‘non-progressive candidates’ are those politicians or candidates who are “hostile” to the movement, while those who are categorized as progressives are “allied or friendly” to the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Legaspi also said the first two categories are also sources of additional funds for the CTGs because they are contributors to the movement’s extortion activities by paying the “permit to campaign” and “permit to win” fees in far-flung barangays in the provinces.
“Permit to a campaign,” Legaspi said, allows candidates to enter the CTG infested areas to promote and present themselves to the voters, while the “permit to win” refers to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s order to their members whom to vote as winner of the elections.
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, on the other hand, warned politicians or candidates who would give in to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s demand or build an alliance with them, as this will not only lead to their disqualification, but they run the risk of facing administrative and criminal charges for violating the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and Section 10 of the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10168).
The Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the CPP-NPA-NDF as terrorist groups.
The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines also listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PR)