MANILA – The country's top cop on Monday cautioned anew those planning to run in next year's national and local elections against paying “permit-to-campaign” fees to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
In a statement, PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said giving in to extortion demands of the communist terrorists would mean providing them financial support which is punishable under the law.
He cited President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s declaration of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization under Proclamation No. 374 in connection with Section 3 (e) (1) of Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism and Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
“Ayon po dito sa Republic Act 10168, nahaharap sa kaso ang sinumang magbibigay ng suportang pinansyal sa alinmang teroristang grupo (According to Republic Act 10168, anyone who provides financial support to any terrorist group will face charges). Any amount given to the terrorist group would be considered financial support to enable the group to carry out an attack,” he added.
Violators of the law may face up to 40 years imprisonment, a fine of not less than PHP500,000, and freezing of their property, funds, and other assets by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
Eleazar warned that a political candidate may also be held accountable as a principal in terrorist activities under Section 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and could face charges under the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.
“Nanawagan po tayo sa mga balak kumandidato sa nalalapit na halalan na huwag po tayo magbibigay ng tinatawag na ‘permit-to-campaign fee’ sa CPP-NPA dahil wala itong pinagkaiba sa pagsuporta sa mga rebeldeng komunista at sa kanilang paghahasik ng karahasan sa ating mga komunidad (We call on those who are planning to run in the upcoming elections not to give the so-called 'permit-to-campaign fee' to the CPP-NPA because it makes no difference in supporting the communist rebels and in sowing violence in the community),” Eleazar said.
Eleazar added that the money collected by the communist rebels will definitely be used in the purchase of more firearms and other logistics to sustain their senseless and pointless “armed struggle”.
Eleazar added that giving in to the communist rebels’ demand for money would only embolden them to continue their extortion activities.
He pointed out that this illegal activity by the CPP-NPA just shows that they are just common thugs and do not adhere to any moral principle.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)