P62-M revolutionary tax collected by NPA

Published by rudy Date posted on January 12, 2009

The military vowed yesterday to stop the New People’s Army from extorting “revolutionary taxes” from the public.

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, Armed Forces public affairs chief, said troops would urge businessmen to reject the NPA’s fund-raising campaign to cut the lifeline of the 40-year-old communist rebellion.

“They thrive on extortion activities, that is why the strategy is to clip their extortion activities, in partnership not only with the Philippine National Police and security forces, but also with the business establishments especially in those areas where they are active,” he said.

Torres said the public is forced to shell out money to the NPA for fear that their businesses would be sabotaged.

“It will be very significant if the (NPAs) resources are cut,” he said.

“It will be very hard for them to exist, it will be very hard for them to sustain their activities.”

The NPA would be reduced to “inconsequence” by 2010 if they are denied funds to finance their rebellion, Torres said.

Earlier, the military reported that the NPA amassed P62 million in “revolutionary taxes” the past year.

On the other hand, Armed Forces chief Gen. Alexander Yano said the military had fallen short of its target of dismantling 40 NPA fronts nationwide.

Last year, troops have dismantled 25 NPA fronts and downgraded 15, leaving the NPA with 62 by yearend as against 87 in 2007, he added.

Yano said the NPA’s manpower has been reduced by nine percent to 5,239 at the end of last year.

The military also cut the NPA’s number of firearms by five percent, or from 5,694 to 5,390 by yearend of 2008. –- James Mananghaya, Philippine Star

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