A ranking official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) cautioned the public against giving donations to communist-front groups posing to help victims severely affected by the onslaught of Typhoon “Tisoy”.
Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., who is also Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations, made this statement in wake of reports claiming that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is preparing to mobilize its resources to link with local and international relief and aid organizations to allegedly help people in emergency situations.
Parlade was reacting a report posted on Inquirer.net on Dec. 2 that quoted Marco Valbuena, CPP chief public information officer, as saying “They can prepare the necessary equipment and other resources, and link up with various local and international relief and aid organizations, in order to help the people in emergency situations.”
“In the onslaught of Typhoon ‘Tisoy’, again, let’s watch out for these swindlers which are front organizations of the CPP. They have mobilized again their above-ground network to generate funds supposedly for typhoon victims. In reality, most of these will go to the CPP-NPA and (Jose Maria) ‘Joma’ Sison,” he said.
In the Southern Tagalog area alone, he cited as an example the Serve the People Corps” as allied with “Anakbayan” and “Samahang Kabataan” which could be utilized for such activities.
“Other initiatives, with different acronyms, will also be common in other affected areas, as well as non-affected areas. Bayan networks will orchestrate all these to provide a semblance of legality,” he added.
Same effort during ‘Yolanda’
He recalled that during the aftermath of Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013, communist terrorist group (CTG) mass bases in the Leyte and Samar were affected prompting the CPP-NPA to exploit the situation to their advantage.
“During Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (International CN: Hainan) in 2013, many of the CTG mass bases were affected. The devastation in Tacloban and Samar was so widely publicized that the CTG was quick to exploit it,” Parlade said.
With the whole world mobilizing to help “Yolanda” victims, he said the CPP-NPA came up with their own fundraising program and highlighted the supposed miseries of evacuees in evacuation centers to intensify their approach which in turn demonize the government for its alleged inefficiencies in addressing the problems of the “Yolanda” affected communities.
“More than anything, it was a perfect propaganda to highlight the debilities, inefficiency, if not absence of government in addressing the problems of affected communities,” he said.
This approach, he added, was a good one as this allowed the communist rebels to secure funding from abroad aside from portraying the government at the time as inept.
“So it was a win-win strategy to scam money from good Samaritans in US and Europe while destroying the image of a government portrayed as inept. Thus was born this ‘People Surge’ initiative of the CPP,” he said.
This initiative by the CPP-NPA netted them around PHP2 billion in donations without the benefit of audit and accounting, he added.
“It became a good template for the CPP fund generation. When Typhoon ‘Pablo’ badly hit Compostela Valley in Mindanao in (2012), they founded ‘Panday Bulig’ with the objective of helping their afflicted mass bases and red fighters, through funds solicited all over the world,” Parlade said.
Documents recovered from Roy Erecre, secretary of KR-SB who was arrested in 2015, showed that after these funding proposals are approved by foreign funding agencies, 40 percent is kept by the CPP with another 40 percent left to front organizations, while the remaining 20 percent released to people’s organizations and their beneficiaries.
“This scheme enabled the CPP to expand quickly its Climate Change Network of Community-based Initiative (CCNCI), spanning from such cover as disaster resilience, protection of vulnerable communities, children and women sector, and protecting the environment from development aggression,” he said.
Other networks unwittingly exploited by the CPP are Center for Environmental Concerns, Citizens’ Disaster Response Center and Philippine Network of Food Security Programs, he bared.
“This is according to documents from Aurora Cayon, a staff of the CPP’s National Finance Commission so it is up for them to deny this, especially Viva Salud, whom we identified earlier as one of the foreign NGOs wittingly or unwittingly supporting CPP front organizations. This is happening despite the existence of PD 1564 (Solicitation Permit Law) which requires DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) permit before soliciting for donations,” he added.
While everyone should rally to save the world from climate change and disasters, Parlade advised the public not to donate to communist rebel front organizations posing as disaster or environmental protection agencies as this is only swindling.
“Everybody wants to save the world through climate change advocacies but the CPP network of disaster or environmental watchers is simply different. Its all about swindling money from innocent donors,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)