MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 10, 2009) – Suspected New People’s Army rebels bombed two delivery vans they allegedly held up in Iloilo province in central Philippines, officials said.
Officials said the rebels, numbering about two dozens, flagged down the vans on a village in the town of Igbaras, carted cigarettes and bombed the vehicles owned by Mega Via Corporation before retreating to the hills.
“The NPA rebels carted away six boxes of assorted brands of cigarettes before destroying the vans,” said Colonel Daniel Lucero, commander of the Philippine Army’s Civil-Military Operations Group.
It was unknown if the drivers were unhurt in the attack.
He said the rebels were also behind many extortion activities in western Visayas. He also accused senior NPA leaders of pocketing extortion monies which rebels call “revolutionary” taxes.
“The extortion scheme relentlessly imposed by the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front and the NPA on businessmen only enriches senior communist cadres at the expense of the lives of lowly guerillas mostly of peasant origin who wage arduous and resolute armed struggle in the countryside.”
“Some senior party cadres even live in a lucrative lifestyle overseas or within the comforts of urban exclusive villas here in our country. The bulk of the fees exacted by the communist movement are controlled by the central leadership of the dictatorial organization, benefiting only those senior party cadres who are at the helm of the organization’s leadership,” Lucero said.
He added that the huge collection generated by the rebels enabled senior party cadres to send their children to exclusive and international schools.
Lucero did not identify any of the NPA leaders he accused of pocketing extortion money, but said most of the information came from former rebels who surrendered to the government.
“Needless to say, those business establishments that refused to submit to these extortion demands are subjected to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s terror acts through the use of sheer violence, threat and intimidation. And Mega Via Corporation has become a new entry in the list of companies which suffered this lecherous act of the NPA,” Lucero said.
The NPA has been waging a secessionist war the past four decades. (Mindanao Examiner)