THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), have collected about P1.433 billion from local and multi-national firms and government officials since 1996 through its extortion and other fund-raising activities.

The figure is on top of the P93.877 million the communists have reportedly generated from permit-to-campaign collections from candidates during the 2001 (P9.49 million), 2004 (P56.71 million), and 2007 (P27.67 million) elections, military documents showed.

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The same documents revealed that the communist movement collected P136 million from their extortion last year, including P28.7 million from logging concessionaires, P12.5 million from moneyed private individuals, and P9 million each from mining companies and agri-business and fishpond owners.

Last year’s rebel collections included P1 million from Internal Revenue Allotment from Visayas although it did not identify the government officials or government units where the rebels got the money.

A small sum of P38,759 were collected by the rebels also last year from unnamed multi-national companies, also in the Visayas.

The rebel collections last year also included P4.24 million from business and commercial establishments; P7.84 from construction firms; P7 million from legal institutions; P4.20 million from the transport sector; P3.68 million in contribution from allies; P2.90 million from foreign sources; P2.65 million from party dues; P2.61 million in contribution from politicians; P1.87 from telecommunication companies; and P10 million from quarry operators.

In 2008, the document said the CPP-NPA collected P61 million from extortion activities and P86 million in the previous year.

In 2006, they got P85 million; 2005, P251 million; 2004, P126 million; 2003, P94 million; 2002, P67 million; 2001, P98 million; 2000, P93 million; 1999, P108 million; 1998, P16 million; 1997, P12 million; and 1996, P200 million.

The communist rebels have been admitting collecting revolutionary tax, which the military calls extortion, from various firms. They usually subject to attacks companies that do pay such taxes.

Catanduanes clash

In a related development, an NPA rebel died following a clash with government forces in Caramoran town in Catanduanes province on Friday.

Major Harold Cabunoc, spokesman of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said the rebels were engaged in extortion when troops from the 83rd Infantry Battalion engaged them at the village of Maysuram town around 9:30 a.m.

Cabunoc said the soldiers were sent to the village to apprehend at least 15 “heavily armed” communist rebels who have been demanding money from the residents.

Authorities recovered a body of one of the rebels, along with an M16 rifle and a baby armalite rifle, and rebel documents after the clash. No casualty was reported on the military side.

The military is aiming to defeat the NPA on or before President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo finishes her term in June this year. Military estimates placed the NPA’s strength at more than 4,000 men as of end last year. (VR/Sunnex)