PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, November 21, vehemently warned mining companies that allegedly finance the communist insurgency to sever their ties with the rebel group, or risk being shuttered.
In a speech delivered in Taguig City, Duterte accused some mining firms of conniving with the communists, specifically with its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA).
"Let me issue a warning. I know, they will protest about it. It is known to everybody -- it is almost judicial notice -- that their (mining firms) legal fronts are in cahoots, in conspiracy with the armed NPAs," said Duterte.
"We have to decide once and for all. If I go against the NPAs, the communists, well, everybody has to reconfigure your relationship with the NPAs. Because if you continue to support (them) financially, I will close you down. In the interest of the security of the state, all those funding the NPA here, we will trace everything," he added.
Duterte claimed that some mining firms have been funneling funds to the bank accounts of NPA members, amid the communist party's continuing collection of revolutionary taxes from private companies.
He slammed the mining executives who are tolerating the communists' illegal activities since they are also benefitting from conspiring with them.
"The collection of taxes does not come from the money they extorted in the farm. They get it from the bank. (Mining companies) are depositing money to the accounts of those NPA members. That's (how) they extort (from) big companies," Duterte said.
"All mining companies are paying taxes to the NPA. That's without exception. And their mining (operations) will not thrive, if they do not give money to them," he added.
The Chief Executive made the remark as he reiterated his plan to label the communists as terrorists since he would no longer pursue peace negotiations with them.
He said that as of Monday, November 20, he has decided to "cut talks with the NPAs." (SunStar Philippines)