Feature: Are CPP/NPA leaders fighting over money?
Koronadal City (5 June) -- The killing of Evelyn Pitao is an indication of a serious rift among key leaders in the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA), a reliable source said.
The main issue has something to do with funds bungled and unremitted by some leaders.
During the first quarter, two members of the Central Committee were sent to Mindanao by Jose Maria Sison to check on the unaccounted amount of P 70 million pesos which is part of their collections generated through extortion by the CPP/NPA in Davao Region.
"Leoncio Pitao has become a headache to the CPP. The CPP is frustrated because he has violated party rules and has not implemented the programs of the party in his area. The recent admission of the Medardo Arce Command for the murder of Evelyn Pitao is proof of the ongoing infighting and frustration with him by the CPP/NPA," Major General Reynaldo Mapagu said.
Since January, a total of 71 former rebels have surrendered to the authorities, citing demoralization within their ranks due to the misuse and mismanagement of funds by their leaders.
The Southern Mindanao Regional Committee is reported to be generating an estimated P 20 million every quarter in Davao region alone. Of this amount, 9.1M comes from logging concessions, 1.6M from mining companies, 3.1 from agri-business, 2.3 from commercial establishments, 0.3M from construction companies, and 2.1M from other sources.
"If we look into the quarterly CPP/NPA fund generation in Davao Region, the missing P70 million could be their taxes exacted for 3 quarters to 1 year. This is indeed a large amount lost that subsequently crippled their operational activities, thus, a big frustration for the Central Committee," Mapagu added.
Last March, NPA surrenderees in Compostela Valley revealed that former leaders identified as Ruel Caballes and Catherine Cacdac abandoned their group and took with them party funds. (dpao10thID/PIA 12) [top]