Palace backs NSA filing of initial data vs. 'CPP front groups'

MANILA -- Malacañang on Friday said it supports National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon's move to ask the European Union (EU) to "immediately cease" its funding being funneled to groups acting as legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

"The EU should (stop) because the funding will be used in destabilizing the government. If these are legal fronts and their main purpose is to break down the government, then the EU, who’s funding it, should reconsider," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a briefing.

In his letter to EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles De Kerchove dated March 26, Esperon, who is also Vice Chairman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTFELCAC), said EU funds are being used to sustain the activities of the longest existing communist organization in the world — the CPP-NPA — which is listed as a terrorist group by both the United States and the EU.

Among the listed local non-government organizations (NGOs) acting as CPP fronts were the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV); IBON Foundation; Karapatan; Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc.; the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines; the Salugpungan Ta'tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, Inc.; the Alliance of Health Workers; the Kilusang Mayo Uno; Gabriela; and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.

Esperon said ALCADEV and Salugpungan are identified as CPP-NPA alternative learning centers and schools.

The European Union and the Belgian Embassy in Manila on Thursday received the initial documents and pieces of evidence against a number of groups allegedly fronting for the CPP-NPA.

EU Programme Manager on Governance Louis Dey and Belgian Ambassador Michel Goffin committed to review the documents.

Goffin said the EU and Belgium consider it illegal to fund terrorism, whether directly or indirectly. (PNA)