Communist rebels extort as much as P1 billion per year from various businesses, according to Department of National (DND) Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Citing sources from the intelligence community, Lorenzana said the New People’s Army (NPA) extorts big companies and even private contractors of big government projects.
“Most of the mining, huge banana plantations are in western Mindanao. Add the telecommunications companies and the government projects being done by private contractors and the amount extorted is huge. That is the main source of their financing,” Lorenzana said.
The DND chief said that communist rebels extorting protection money from businesses shows that they can never be trusted when it comes to talking peace and ending the insurgency.
Both the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have thumbed down future peace talks with the NPA, Communist Party of the Philippines, and National Democratic Front.President Rodrigo Duterte also said his administration will not talk peace with communists until the end of his term in 2022. SOVEREIGNPH