Efforts are now underway to restrict New People’s Army rebels from accessing funds they have acquired abroad.
This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato when asked on whether the government is doing something to stop the rebels from receiving funding abroad.
“Yes, including foreign funds they are receiving by deceiving the [foreign] donors and diverting the money to further their terroristic activities with the ultimate aim of toppling down the government and changing our way of life,” he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency late Monday.
The military official earlier said only a unified and whole-of-government approach will defeat the NPA, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
“We have identified so many factors to eradicate the communist terrorists [and these are] prevent them from accessing funds, counter their mass base recruitment and front organizations,” Detoyato said.
And they can only be neutralized effectively if the government will synchronize its efforts to counter them and the threats they pose.
“We can only do this effectively if the whole government will synchronize their efforts towards a common goal [which is aimed at containing these factors that are responsible for the continued operation of the NPA movement],” the AFP official added.
Once this is done, Detoyato expressed confidence that the ideology espoused by Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison and his “blind followers” will be defeated once and for all.
As this developed, joint military and police forces preempted another arson attempt by the New People’s Army in Sitio Salok, Barangay Magsaysay in Infanta, Quezon province.
Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the 202nd Infantry “Unifier” Brigade said government forces encountered an undetermined number of rebels at 8 a.m. Friday.
Burgos said the 30 minute firefight took place some 3 km. away from the compound of Northern Builders, the Kaliwa Dam project contractor whose equipment were torched by suspected NPA members last Feb. 7.
Kaliwa Dam is one of the 76 ongoing flagship and developmental projects in Region 4-A (Calabarzon).
“The encounter is a result of our continuing operations to punish the enemies of the state who are terrorizing helpless private companies that refuse to give in to the rebels’ extortion activities,” Burgos said.
Initial reports said four government security forces were wounded. The names of the wounded soldiers have been kept under wraps pending notification of their kin.
Casualties were expected among the rebels as bloodstains were traced along their escape route.
Lt. Col. Christopher Diaz, commander of the 80th Infantry Battalion, disclosed that the operation stemmed from a tip that a group of NPA rebels would conduct atrocities in Infanta, specifically the burning of construction equipment belonging to Northern Builders.
He said that additional forces have been deployed to pursue the fleeing rebels, who might belong to the same group behind the arson activities in Luisiana, Laguna on Valentine’s Day.
The February 14 encounter has claimed the life of John Carlo Alberto, alias “Damian/Iñigo”, a University of the Philippines - Los Baños student recruited and deceived to join the NPA.
Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division expressed gratitude to the Infanta townsfolk for providing information about the rebels’ activities.
“This is not only a testament of their trust to their soldiers but a manifestation that they are already tired of the NPA’s anti-people and anti-development terroristic actions,” Parayno said.