More than 300 gov't execs continue to pay campaign fees to NPA

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

April 15, 2019, 4:20 pm

MANILA -- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Monday said they continue to monitor the more than 300 national and local government officials who have been included in the Department of the Interior and Local Government's (DILG) watch list for allegedly providing financial support to the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Albayalde said there were 349 local and national government officials allegedly providing support to the CPP-NPA in the form of extortion money and permit to campaign fees.

Sa ngayon (right now) they are just being monitored. We have to get hard evidence para dito (for this). These are all intelligence information that we get na meron tayong mga nakuhang information (we received information) that they give extortion money to the CPP-NPA kasi sa totoo lang mahirap, parang bribery, mahirap din i-prove na itong taong ito ay siyang nagbigay ng pera (like bribery, it's difficult to prove that these people gave money) because for all you know they will also deny this,” he told reporters during Monday’s press briefing in Camp Crame.

Asked if the list would be presented to the public, Albayalde said the DILG secretary will decide whether to publicize the name of the politicians or not.

The PNP chief, meanwhile, warned candidates, private individuals, and juridical entities, who willfully donate to the coffers of the enemies of the state of possible criminal liability for violation of RA 10168 or The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.

Aside from the crime of financing of terrorism, he said the act of giving any amount or item of value to the CPP-NPA is tantamount to disloyalty punishable under the Revised Penal Code.

“If it is proven that the "fee" is made as part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government, the "donor" may be held liable as co-conspirator in the crime of rebellion,” said Albayalde.

Furthermore, the PNP chief said incumbent elective public officials campaigning for reelection remain to be government officials, thus, their culpability in this crime is further aggravated by violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 374 on December 5, 2017 declaring the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization under RA 10168.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

According to DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año, based on the consolidated figures gathered by the intelligence groups, a total of PHP195.5 million was accumulated by the CPP-NPA from their various extortion activities nationwide during the 2016 and 2018 polls.

The same intelligence reports revealed that of the 349 officials, 11 are provincial governors; five vice governors; 10 provincial board members; 55 mayors; 21 vice mayors and 41 councilors.

Also in the list are 126 barangay chairmen, 50 barangay councilors, and eight other barangay officials.

Last month, the DILG and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines issued a joint statement reminding aspirants in the May 13 mid-term polls that “financing the NPA and their terror activities will make them criminally and administratively liable under our laws”.

The candidates have also been advised to immediately report to the authorities the extortion activities of the NPA. (PNA)