Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo agreed with the move of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. formally asking the EU to stop financing alleged communists-linked groups.
“The EU should [cease its funding]. The funding would [only] be used in destabilizing the government,” Panelo told reporters.
“If these are legal [communist] fronts and their main purpose is to break down the government, then the EU should reconsider [funding them].”
In other developments:
• The European Union and the Belgian Embassy in Manila on Thursday received initial documents and pieces of evidence against a number of groups allegedly fronting for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
During a meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs, EU Program Manager on Governance Louis Dey and Belgian Ambassador Michel Goffin committed to review the documents submitted by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Goffin, Belgian Ambassador to the Philippines, said the EU and Belgium considered it illegal to fund terrorism whether directly or indirectly.
• The Armed Forces of the Philippines will continue gathering information on the alleged ‘front groups’ of the CPP-NPA.
“The AFP will continue gathering information to unearth hidden or embedded organizations in the identified fronts as mentioned in the documents submitted to EU.” The AFP will continue supporting this endeavor to cut off the foreign funds that is being squandered by the recipient front organizations by funneling it to fund the armed groups and other effort(s) to subvert the Philippine government,” AFP public affairs office chief Noel Detoyato told PNA on Friday.
• The communist rebels’ defeat in Victoria, Northern Samar, on Thursday, where three insurgents were killed and another was captured, indicated that the revolutionary movement was running out of cadres capable of fighting a war, a military official said.
• Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said Thursday National Democratic Front consultant Francisco Fernandez and his wife, Cleofe Lagtapon, were being given full medical attention following their arrest on March 24 in Liliw, Laguna.
In a letter to EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, Esperon warned the EU that funds were being used “to propagate terrorism” through international alliances and networks.
He claimed that communist-linked groups were using the funds to finance the recruitment, trafficking, and exploitation of children to become child warriors.
He said EU funds were being used “to recruit and exploit vulnerable sectors such as indigenous people, the systematic destruction of the latter’s culture and value system and the murder of their leaders.”
Esperon said three Belgian non-government organizations such as SOLIDAGRO, Viva Salud and KIYO had “indirectly and unwittingly partnered” with NGOs here that he claimed to be acting as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA.
Esperon then tagged 10 groups that supposedly received the funds: the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, IBON Foundation, Karapatan, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc., the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, the Salugpungan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Inc., the Alliance of Health Workers the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela and ACT.
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