Some 20 NPA rebels burn construction equipment in Northern Samar

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2021   •   429

SAMAR, Philippines – Members of the communists New People’s Army (NPA) burned several construction equipment in Brgy. San Francisco, Las Navas, Northern Samar, the Philippine Army reported.

The incident, which happened at around 4:00 a.m. Thursday (July 29), charred several vehicles and equipment including a ten-wheeler dump truck, two backhoes, crane, one self-loading vehicle (prime mover), soil compactor, grader, two loaders, and generator set.

The construction equipment are owned by MDU Construction which employed more than a hundred construction workers currently working in the completion of the road construction project in barangays Quirino and San Francisco, both of Las Navas.

The project which shall connect the Northern and Eastern Samar provinces in Eastern Visayas, is scheduled to be completed by end of December this year.

According to information received by the military, more or less 20 fully-armed NPA rebels arrived in the area and burned the equipment after the refusal of the owner of the construction company to the communists’ demand for revolutionary tax.

“This terroristic action has derailed the completion of this vital road project that will connect the Eastern towns of Samar to the rest of the island and make the lives of the people in the area much easier. There could only be one reason for this arson, their demand for money or more money has not been met as contractors have had enough of these terrorists’ extortion,” Major General Pio Diñoso III, 8th Infantry Division Commander, said.

“Nonetheless, the contractors will not be cowed and have pledged to not give in to terrorists’ demands,” he added.

The official assured the people of Eastern Visayas that “the Philippine Army will work closely with these project proponents to ensure that projects of the government will be finished and be delivered to the people at all costs.”

“While this setback has been costly, projects will continue and no terrorist will be able to stop us if we will act together against them,” he said.

Duterte urges NPAs to return to government fold before his term ends

Maris Federez   •   January 26, 2022

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reiterates his call on the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender and return to the fold of the government before his administration term ends.  

“Magusurrender na kayo bago ako umalis sa trabaho ko,” Duterte said.

As the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commander in Chief, Duterte said he ordered the military, particularly the Philippine Army, to facilitate the surrender.

“This is my order to the military, if they want to surrender, give them the chance to surrender properly. If they surrender the firearms, the next trip down from the mountains you accompany them,” he said.

Duterte assured that surrenderers will be granted benefits for their return. He also stressed that fighting the government will not do them good.

“I can give you a house, bahay na parang appartment, marami akong maibigay. I’ll give you a house, I’ll give you a job, temporary may sweldo ka na,” the President said.

“Sinubukan naman natin na mga barilan, wala naman nangyari. Pinatay lang ang mga Pilipino,” he added.

The President further said that instead of disrupting government projects and activities, particularly after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, NPA members must help in rebuilding heavily devastated areas.

By doing so, rebel returnees will receive compensation coming from the budget of the Office of the President.

 —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent JP Nuñez)

Romeo Brawner Jr. named as new PH Army chief

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Major General Romeo Brawner Jr. as the new commanding general of the Philippine Army, Malacañang announced.

“The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has approved the designation of MGen Romeo S. Brawner Jr. as Commanding General of the Philippine Army,” the Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We wish General Brawner all the best in his new assignment,” it added.

Brawner is the current commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

He will take over the post from Lieutenant General Andres Centino, who is now the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Malacañang expressed confidence that Brawner “will continue the reform initiatives his predecessors pursued in order to transform the largest branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines into a more dynamic and more professional organization true to its mandate to serve our people and secure our nation.”

Brawner is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Makatao Class of 1989.

He also served as acting commandant of cades at the PMA, spokesperson of the Joint Task Force Marawi at the height of the campaign against Islamic State-linked militants who laid siege in Marawi City in 2017.

He also served as the commander of the 103rd Brigade in Mindanao and served as Army spokesperson.

PH gov’t warns public vs providing financial, material support to CPP-NPA-NDF

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government has warned the public against providing money and material support to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

In a statement, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said the CPP-NPA and NDF have been designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) through its Resolution Nos. 12 and 21.

The AMLC warned that under Section 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, any person who provides material support to a terrorist individual or organization, knowing that such individual or organization is committing or planning to commit terrorist acts, is liable as principal and in relation to Sections 4 and 6 of the ATA, shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment.

It also cited Section 8 of Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act (TFPSA), which provides that any person who makes available any property or funds or financial services or other related services to designated persons or organizations shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P1 million.

“Further, Section 11 of the TFPSA authorizes the Anti-Money Laundering Council, upon its own initiative or at the request of the ATC, to freeze property or funds that are related to terrorism financing,” the agency said.

“In effect, the ATC designation makes any person who provides monetary and material support to the CPP-NPA-NDF liable for violations of relevant provisions of the ATA or TFPSA,” it added.

Over the years, the Communist Terrorist Group has engaged in terrorism financing.

According to a former ranking NPA member, fees collected from political candidates are pro-rated based on the sought position.

The AMLC said that recovered CPP-NPA documents, statements of former NPA members, and other reliable sources reveal that communist terrorists raise and collect funds through extortion/taxation, including election fees, such as “permits to campaign/win” from politicians.

Other regular and major sources of funds are mining companies, telephone companies, construction firms, and other businesses, including project funds from abroad. These funds amount to billions of pesos, where 60% goes to the CPP Central Committee and 40% remains with the regional units for their terrorist operations.

Apart from money, communist terrorists also receive firearms, combat boots, uniforms, and technical equipment/gadgets.

Prior to the ATC designation, the CPP-NPA has been designated as terrorist organizations by other countries and jurisdictions, including the United States, European Union, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

“Putting an end to the local communist movement entails cutting off their sources of funding and other means of support,” AMLC said.

“Thus, the public must immediately report any coercive or illegal fund collection by the communist terrorists as these terrorism financing activities sustain the violent agenda of the CPP-NPA-NDF that disregards not only our country’s laws but also human life, public safety, and right over property,” it added.

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