Military says NPA collects P460M yearly as ‘revolutionary taxes’
DAVAO CITY – Military officials pegged at P460 million the yearly collection that communist insurgents are getting as “revolutionary taxes” from at least two resources-rich provinces in Southern Mindanao.
Colonel Erwin Bernard Neri, commander of the Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade, said in a press briefing in Maco town, Compostela Valley on Wednesday, at least 60 per cent of the amount come from mining companies in the province’s gold-rich towns of Monkayo, Maco, Pantukan and Nabunturan.
He said aside from the small and large-scale mining operators, the New People’s Army also collects from lowly sari-sari (variety store) owners, who pay as low as P2 per day and from big banana plantations in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte provinces as well as politicians during election time.
Lt. Col. Esteven Ducusin, commander of the 46th Infantry Battalion based in Pantukan, said they found it difficult to follow the trail of the big amount of money that went into the NPA’s hands because of the “intricate mode of payment,” involved.
Although the military could not yet cite the particular firms or individuals who are faithfully contributing to the NPA coffers, those who refused to contribute usually suffered an attack from rebels; such as Apex Mining Co., whose facilities and heavy equipment were burned down by rebels in 2008 and 2014.
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