Local chief executives are being warned against giving material and political support to left-wing rebel groups.
The warning of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to local government executives was contained in Memorandum Circular No. 2018-211, a copy of which was sent to the 303rd Infantry Brigade, that mandates regional, provincial, city and municipal peace and order councils to apply moral suasion to, or recommend sanctions against LCEs who are giving material and political support to communist rebels.
Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday described it as a “welcome development”, adding it would boost their efforts against those government officials, who are directly, or indirectly supporting the communist terrorist organization in Negros.
Section 4 of RA 10168, otherwise known as the terrorism financing prevention and suppression act of 2012, states that “any person, who directly or indirectly provides funds or financial services to facilitate the commission of any terrorist act by a terrorist organization, or by an individual terrorist, shall suffer a maximum of period of reclusion perpetua and a fine not less than P1 million, Año, who used to be the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, said.
Any person who organizes or direct others to commit financing of terrorism will also be guilty of similar offense and penalty, he added.
Año added that the legal provision further reinforced by the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that local chief executives should not give any aid to the rebel groups, as it would only result to much distress and embarrassment, even losing power over the police.
Following the encounter between communist rebels and 79th Infantry Battalion troopers November last year in Brgy. Washington, Escalante City, Negros Occidental, residents in the area urged those supporting the NPA to stop from doing so, to avoid putting their families in harm’s way whenever armed encounters happen, Arevalo said.
The residents expressed their intent as well to pass a resolution, to be approved by the mayor, for the city government to stop providing funds and material support to leftist organizations supporting the NPA, Arevalo said.
Even before the issuance of memorandum order by DILG, Arevalo said that they have been requesting some government officials, suspected to be aiding communist rebels, to stop such illegal acts.
He added that Año may have been aware that there are some local chief executives supporting the CPP-NPA, that prompted him to remind peace and order councils to recommend sanctions against those who are doing it.*
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