Gonzales: NPA raising funds for rebel candidates
By ROGER M. BALANZA
The burning rampage of construction equipment and transmission towers by New People’s Army rebels aims to squeeze from companies revolutionary tax to fund the candidacy of rebel candidates in the coming 2010 elections.
Norberto Gonzales, National Security Adviser Secretary Norberto Gonzales, told Davao City mediamen Friday, that the beneficiaries of this fund-raising among others would be (leftist party-list representatives) Satur Ocampo, Lisa Maza, and (Teddy) Casiño.
He said the rebel extortion was revealed to him by contractors—who pay more than in the past— whose projects were burned down of they don’t pay up, by the rebels. Aside from the aggressive fund raising for the coming elections, rebels also have intensified their killing of barangay captains and local leaders, Gonzales said.
Gonzales deplored NPA use of violence and threat to get the funds from businessmen, who often cough up the demanded amounts for fear of losing their business.
But Gonzales also said the NPA has weakened based on government’s success in dismantling guerilla fronts.
They have no chance whatsoever in dismantling the government. While the movement is still active, its ranks are being dissipated by the dismantling of their many fronts, he said.
While they continue to give damage, the end is near for them, said Gonzales.
This weakness is also demonstrated in the rebel’s acceptance of government’s DDR (Demobilization, disarmament and reintegration) formula as an agenda in the resumption of peace negotiations in Norway.
“For the first time, they included (DDR) in their agenda. We can now discuss DDR (in the peace talks). That’s why I believe we are winning,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the government would never share power with the NPA in a coalition government offered by the rebels.
“If you want to be in power, you have to be elected,” Gonzales said, adding government can even provide funds for rebel political parties who can follow the electoral process, and does not have the overthrow of the government in its agenda.