Leftist party-list solon admits funding ‘NPA’ | Inquirer News

Leftist party-list solon admits funding ‘NPA’

/ 05:44 AM August 12, 2016

Yes, we fund the NPA, a militant party-list group admitted on Thursday, “the No Permanent Address folks.”

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said President Duterte’s accusation the other night that militant party-list groups were giving financial aid to the communist New People’s Army (NPA) was an “old” one meant to discredit the progressive bloc in Congress.

Zarate said the bloc—dubbed Makabayan and composed of activist party-list groups—indeed supported the NPA but these were those with “no permanent address” or the homeless.


Zarate pointed to the fact that the Commission on Audit (COA) had never taken issue with any member of the Makabayan bloc over the use of their Priority Development Allocation Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel since the party-list groups took part in elections in 2001.


He said that after the PDAF was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013, they relied on their office funds to help the homeless.

“During the time we had the PDAF, we used it for the NPA, the no permanent address people. These are the homeless whom we provide care for through health facilities and education in schools,” Zarate said.

“Without the PDAF, the fund our offices receive [for expenses] is what we use to fund projects for our chapters. We do not fund rebel groups. This accusation is just the military and antipeace groups trying to malign us,” he said.

“We call on President Duterte not to believe such accusations. Since we were elected we have never misused a single centavo,” he added. “We have always been transparent with our funds, we are not funding the New People’s Army.”

Mr. Duterte on Wednesday, addressing the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, told the soldiers that militant party-list groups were funneling government funds to the communist rebels.

His tirade came after he threatened to call off the scheduled peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front of the Philippines if the NPA, the rebels’ armed wing, continued to use land mines in its war with the government.


The President said the use of land mines violated the Geneva Convention and caused death and injury not only to soldiers but to civilians as well.

He also said he wanted the party-list system abolished because it had been taken over by militant groups funding rebels and political clans representing groups they had no real connection to, like tricycle drivers and security guards.

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