President Rodrigo Duterte has renewed his call to members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to surrender, assuring them of government assistance if they decide to return to the fold of the law.
Also, the government has started to hit the finances of the of the CPP-NPA with the Anti-Money Laundering Council initiating moves to freeze the banks accounts of the communist movement.
In a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Saturday night, Duterte said CPP-NPA leaders had no more “ideological set up in their minds,” and nothing to fight for anymore.
“Sinasabi ko lang hinto na kayo. Mag-surrender na kayo kasi walang ginawa ‘yang mga lider ninyo (I’m just saying, surrender because your leaders are not doing anything anymore). It’s plain banditry,” he said.
Duterte said communist rebels are no different from the terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) that carries out terrorist attacks like kidnappings and bombings.
“Pareho talaga kayo ng Abu Sayyaf. No different. Ako pa sa inyo mag-merge na lang. Totoo iyan (You’re just like Abu Sayyaf. No different. If I were you, I would merge with them. That’s true)…You want money to come to your hands through or by virtue of the blood and tears of other Filipinos. Sinisira ninyo ang bayan (You’re destroying the nation),” he said.
Duterte said that while communist rebels extorted millions from big businesses and corporations, their leaders live lavish lifestyles and send their children to study overseas.
He vowed that the government would provide all kinds of assistance to those who surrender, including housing, livelihood, and education for their children
Duterte also reiterated his promise to include them in the government’s mass vaccination campaign once the vaccine for Covid-19 becomes available in the country.
“The vaccine is available to every Filipino citizen, including the communist NPAs so that you can fight better and you are healthy because I know that you will die,” he said.
AMLC MAKES MOVES
The government also plans to hit hard the finances of the CPP-NPA, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Sunday.
He said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has started to take steps to freeze the bank deposits of the communists.
“The AMLC can already move in the premises at any time after due designation by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC),” Guevarra told reporters.
Quoting AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela, Guevarra said the AMLC approved its freeze order against the CPP-NPA and other designated terrorist groups last December 23 after the ATC formally designated the organization as a terrorist group.
In a separate message to reporters, Racela clarified the extent of the freeze order.
“There are no accounts under the name of CPP/NPA, but the FO (freeze order) covers the related accounts (RA) of said organization. RA means all accounts opened and maintained for the benefit of said organization, the identification of which the banks and other covered persons will play a very important role,” Racela said.
The freeze order, he said, was issued pursuant to Section 25 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (Republic Act 11479) in relation to the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act (Republic Act 10168) after the ATC designated the CPP-NPA as a terror group.
“These statutory provisions are intended to preemptively deprive designated terror organizations of resources to prevent possible terror attacks,” he said. CURRENTPH