PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde has warned 349 local and national government officials who were found to be providing support to communist rebels by paying extortion money and permit to campaign fees.
“I would like to caution candidates, private individuals, and juridical entities who willfully donate to the coffers of the enemies of the state of possible criminal liability for violation of RA (Republic Act) 10168 or The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,” he said.
“Aside from the crime of financing of terrorism, the act of giving any amount or item of value to the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) is tantamount to disloyalty punishable under the Revised Penal Code...and if it is proven that the fee is made as part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government, the donor may be held liable as co-conspirator in the crime of rebellion,” he added.
Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that based on intelligence information, a total of P195.5 million was accumulated by the CPP-NPA from its various extortion activities nationwide during the 2016 and 2018 polls.
The DILG also said they have the list of the 349 officials, which include 11 provincial governors, five vice governors, 10 provincial board members, 55 mayors, 21 vice mayors and 41 councilors.
Also in the list are 126 barangay chairmen, 50 barangay councilors, and eight other barangay officials.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the communist rebels are taking advantage of the elections in order to extort money from the politicians who in return are giving in to their demands for their own sake.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of Public Affairs Office Colonel Noel Detoyato said they have yet to receive reports on the officials' support to the communist rebels.
“But we are not discounting the possibility that there are underground transactions. Finding this out is an implied task to our field units,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)