By Francis Wakefield
A military official said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed units are masking themselves as humanitarian non-government organizations or (NGOs) in order for them to get funds from international donors that they use to conduct terrorist activities in the Philippines.
In his speech at the Milipol Asia-Pacific 2019 Conference in Singapore on Thursday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. disclosed that the CPP has already established an international network called the International Department consisting of 252 member-organizations based in 39 countries around the world.
According to the Parlade, the CPP was able to establish 16 chapters abroad through the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) headed by CPP chairperson Jose Maria Sison.
Sison, who founded the CPP 50 years ago, is a recognized political refugee in The Netherlands and enjoys the protection of the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“We foresee that this problem, if not checked, can turn out to be a hybrid scheme that can be a transnational crime problem,” Parlade told homeland security authorities of Asia-Pacific countries, as he also sought their cooperation to combat the wide international network of Communist-infiltrated front organizations.
“The purpose of this presentation is to make you aware that there is such a thing, and because of how intricate these international funding is being done. It may not be in our radar,” he added.
Parlade named local organizations such as IBON Foundation, General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action (GABRIELA), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), KARAPATAN, and National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers as being affiliated with the ILPS.
Parlade said these organizations conduct international solidarity missions where they publish inaccurate reports to portray a tyrannical and oppressive Philippine government.
“At the same time, they lobby for funds from foreign institutions claiming that they will be used for projects to solve the fabricated issues, but will rather be used to fund terrorist activities,” ‘the military official told the audience.
Parlade also disclosed that CPP-infiltrated organizations publish inaccurate information such as weak employment generation, and bloated figures on displaced indigenous communities in order to discredit the government.
“They’ve been fabricating reports, they’ve been tweaking, distorting reports so that the Philippine government will be perceived as incompetent, inefficient,” Parlade said.
“They submit all these reports, false and fabricated reports, to the European Union, United Nations, and other governments, again for funding,” he added.
On December 2018, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).
According to Parlade, the national task force was not only about a military or police solution, but about good governance as well.
“It’s approaching the problem in many perspectives, and you can see there the 12 lines of efforts that we are using to engage the different CPP programs. There’s local government empowerment because this is about good governance.
We are engaging our international stakeholders through our international engagements,” Parlade explained.
Parlade said he learned during the task force’s engagement in Europe earlier this year that the Communist-affiliated NGOs were able to raise as much as 15 million euros over a five-year period from Belgium alone. He also found that about 1.3 million euros will be remitted this year.
“We have a long way to go. We have to analyze deeper, the links, the layers, and layers of organizations covering this fund generating scheme for the terrorists,” Parlade said.
“So we have to work together in order to alert each other of this,” he added.
Earlier, Parlade said about 60 percent of funds received by front organizations of the CPP during disasters such as typhoons Yolanda in 2013 and Pablo in 2017, went to the coffers of the Communist terrorists.
The military official claimed that front groups such “Panday Bolig” aligned with the Reds and disguising themselves as relief organizations appeal to the kind hearted especially in Canada, U.S., Europe, Australia and other countries to provide them with funds, but only a portion is spent for the actual rehabilitation of areas devastated by disasters.
Parlade said according to revelations made by former rebels and organizers, 60 percent of the solicited funds goes to the CPP-NPA. Only 40 percent is spent for rehabilitation, if any.
“Reports from California Filipino communities last November 2018 said that their donations went unaccounted for during the onslaught of Yolanda for instance. In the Visayas, they use CERNET or the Community Empowerment Resource Network as the CPP clearing house of all these fake advocacies,” Parlade said.
“We saw this pattern earlier in the past but it’s only now that we had solid evidence after the series of engagements we had with the European Union and some European governments,” he added.
Parlade said CERNET is based in the Visayas, particularly in Cebu, Bohol but extends up to Samar, Leyte.
Parlade said in the days to come, they will expose the other “miracles” the CPP have been doing to deceive the people.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg. Now they are in panic mode,” he said.
Parlade said “these funds from NGOs which went to their pockets are what they use in recovering lost ground, even without their armed groups.”
“These funds were used to organize their mass base, with livelihood projects that promote the CPP and highlight the neglect of government, rather partner with government to develop the countryside,” he said.
Parlade also lauded the move of the ambassadors of the European Union (EU) and Belgium to look into the request of the Philippine government to audit the funds they donate to non-government organizations which local security officials earlier tagged as having links with the Communist rebels.
“We appreciate the positive response of EU and Belgium to our formal plea to stop funding to Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) which is directly assisting the NPAs in Mindanao,” Parlade said.
“The same RMP has also partnered with Ibon Foundation in the publication of subversive books being used by IP children in the Salugpungan and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development or ALCADEV schools which are teaching IP children to become child warriors. We have to expose this because it is so unfair to the other lay workers and sisters whom we in AFP PNP and government partner with for our value formation and moral reforms,” he added.
Parlade said missionaries cannot continue to hide under the cloak of the church, of whatever faith, and then provide funds to terrorists NPAs, and other CPP front organizations like Karapatan, Gabriela, ACT, KMU, Anakbayan, LFS (League of Filipinos Students), Bayan or what they call the Makabayan bloc.
He said the RMP provides SUPAMIL or Suporta sa Pamilya (family support) to CPP and NPA cadres and fighters directly and they cannot deny this.
“Those who will say this is a lie should be ready to refute this in a public debate. We are armed with the truth and nothing else. We are morally convinced that what these CPP organizations are doing is simply to exploit our IPs, project a very dire human rights situation in our country, vilify our government by fabricating reports to cast doubt on the efficiency of our government, and then what? Ask for donations,” Parlade said.
“This is a pattern they have established. A fake bakwit (displaced person) to ask for EU funding. A fake advocacy to Save Our Communist Schools and ask for more funding. Kill IPs and attribute it to government then ask for Support to HR (Human Rights) Watch. They put up programs like Literacy Numeracy (LITNUM) for IPs, Community Based Health System for wounded NPAs, Farmers Resource Centers and BREAD to feed NPAs and their families, Sustainable Agri (SUS-AG), or Panday Bolig using disaster rehabilitation as cover,” he added.
Parlade said all of these are programs supported by funds coming from EU and given to RMP-Northern Mindanao Region and all of these provide support to the Communist terrorist group.
“Deceit, lies, propaganda are what the CPP NPA have perfected over 50 years which have duped all of us, students, farmers, clergy, teachers, government workers, and international organizations like EU and UN. How much longer can we tolerate this scam now amounting to billions of pesos, which could have been spent for the needs of the genuinely impoverished and neglected , instead of the NPA and Joma’s minions?” Parlade said.
“The same deceit worked with Belgian-funded Belgian NGOs in Manila, which have benefitted the same CPP front organizations. Most of these organizations are members of Joma’s (Jose maria Sison) International League of People’s Struggles or ILPS and can be found in the ILPS website,” he added.