Duterte to probe mining, banana firms: Paying NPA taxes is money laundering
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday, January 27, he would have allegations investigated that banana and mining firms continued to pay revolutionary taxes to Communist rebels.
Calling these payments as money laundering, Duterte said: “I will look into your transactions.”
Duterte threatened to subject these companies to sanctions if they continued to give in to the demands of the New People’s Army (NPA).
It was the same threat he made to mining companies in November 2017, where he said those who continued to support the communist guerillas financially would face closure. At the time, he also threatened to trace these companies.
The NPA justifies collecting revolutionary taxes and has long done so, especially to banana plantations in Mindanao.
In past statements, the NPA said these plantations deserved to pay taxes to the revolutionary movement as they were guilty of dispossessing lands from peasants and indigenous peoples.
Several business leaders have asked the government to come into the private sector’s rescue by finding ways to secure their plantations.
On the other hand, others, including the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), would want the government to continue talking peace with the rebels.
But negotiating peace with the rebels is no longer part of Duterte’s agenda, as on Saturday he emphasized that “the talks are over.”
“No more talks. I will go after the legal fronts,” he said.
The President signed in November 2017 Proclamation 360, formally terminating talks with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
Following that, he declared the CPP and the NPA as terrorist organizations.
In his trip to India this week, he called for stronger cooperation among countries to stop the financing of terrorist organizations. – Rappler.com