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Euro NGOs hit for funding Reds

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday slammed the non-government organizations in the European Union for funding the decades-long communist insurgency in the Philippines.​

“EU funding continues for the widely detested, nowhere supported, and foredoomed communist insurgency composed of the last dregs of the New Khmer Rouge, as US intelligence branded them in the late 80s,” Locsin said during the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotics and Drugs on Thursday (Friday in Manila) in Vienna.

In other developments:

• New People’s Army rebels attacked a pineapple plantation in the Bukidnon town of Don Carlos and burned a harvesting equipment on Thursday, the Army said.

In a statement released by the Army’s 403rd Brigade on Friday, an unspecified number of armed men raided the plantation area of Davao Agriculture Ventures Company Inc. in San Nicolas village around 8 p.m.

The armed men “threatened the workers and announced that they were NPA members,” the Army statement said, adding the group disarmed the lone security guard and seized his cellphone.

• Two rights groups on Friday filed a complaint before the joint monitoring committee of the National Democratic Front and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for their alleged red-tagging and terrorist labeling of militant groups.

Karapatan, along with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, filed the complaint a day before the 21st year of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

Locsin said the insurgency being waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army continued to threaten Philippine society and national security.

“In this endeavor, EU non-government organizations support a cause unquestionably lethal but totally unredeemed by any prospect of success,” Locsin said.

“Their generous contributions promise at best the prospect of a small and ragged parade under a cracked marble arch to the strains of a broken Hallelujah. As always, the Philippines fights its battles alone; it needs no help; it fears no opposition from any quarter; but it wouldn’t mind a little understanding.”

In its official statement, the EU delegation in Manila said the bloc continued to recognize the communist group as a terrorist organization.

“The Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army are on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations since 2006 and are treated as such in all respects by the European Union at this point,” its statement read.

The EU and the US have listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

Presidential Task Force on Media Security Executive Director Undersecretary Joel Egco, who was part of the Philippine delegation that conducted a series of engagements in Brussels in February, said the National Task Force to End the Communist Insurgency created by President Rodrigo Duterte was set to hold several meetings to address the issue and further engage the bloc.

“Definitely, it is being discussed by the National Task Force as to what moves should be taken next. We will send them evidence, that’s the requirement they’ve set,” he told the Philippine News Agency  in an interview on Friday.

Belgian officials, during a meeting last month, informed the Philippine delegation that it was the “first time” that they had heard about their funds reaching the CPP-NPA’s front organizations, Egco said.

As the government takes its war against local communists a step further, Egco said, the NTF got the assurance of European officials who vowed to look into the information presented by the Philippine government on the reported funding of CPP-NPA activities.

Data presented by the Philippine delegation showed that communist front organizations receive funds from groups in the guise of marginalized and pro-poor programs. With Rio N. Araja

Topics: Teodoro Locsin Jr , Presidential Task Force , Joel Egco , Communist Party of the Philippines , Commission on Narcotics and Drugs
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