Firms paying revolutionary taxes to NPA face closure – Duterte
The administration’s peace talks with communist rebels are off again, and this time, President Duterte is intensifying his offensive by warning that businesses would soon have to stop paying revolutionary taxes to the New People’s Army or face closure.
“As of yesterday (Monday), I’ve decided to cut talks with the NPA,” Mr. Duterte said at a tribute for state forces slain in Marawi held at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Peace panel chair Silvestre Bello and peace adviser Jesus Dureza have been informed of his decision, said Mr. Duterte.
“I told Dureza and Bello, you tell the guys there sa Netherlands, I’m no longer available for any official talks. Let’s just go to war. So I have to build a strong army,” he said.
He also reiterated his decision to categorize the NPA as a terrorist group, saying he might as well follow the United States in doing so because he’d been criticized as an “Amboy” or American boy and a fascist.
Once he goes all out against the communists, businesses would have to stop paying off the NPA rebels to spare their operations from attacks, he said.
He would crack down on the legal fronts of the communist rebels who are in cahoots with their armed wing to extort money from businesses, he said. These revolutionary taxes are being deposited in the NPAs’ bank accounts, he said.
“That’s their extortion, big companies. All mining companies are paying taxes to the NPA. That’s without exception. Their mining won’t thrive if they’re not giving money,” he said.
“We have to decide once and for all. If I go against the NPA, the communists, everybody has to reconfigure their relationship with the NPA because if you continue to support financially, I will close you down,” he added.
This would be in the interest of the security of the state, he further said.
He also said he plans to recall his release of elderly detained rebels.
The President said over the weekend that he would issue a proclamation categorizing the NPA as a terrorist group, explaining that he was tired to their depredations including the killing of innocents that included a four-month old infant.
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