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Philippines: NPA collects P1.2B in extortion activities

Defense chief calls businesses not to give into their demands

26.08.2017
Philippines: NPA collects P1.2B in extortion activities

By Hader Glang

ZAMBOANGA CITY

The Philippine defense chief said the communist rebel group is collecting as much as P1.2 billion in revolutionary taxes every year from various mining areas in Mindanao.

The collection of revolutionary taxes by the New People's Army are extortion activities that have long been hurting the business sector in the country, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenza underscored.

Lorenzana's statement comes in the southern city of Davao following reports and complaints from business groups in Mindanao on the extortion activities of the NPAs.

"Don't give in to their demands. They rely on extortion to survive. If the sources of their funds run dry, their activity will also decrease and eventually end their movement,” Davao Today quoted Lorenzana as saying on Friday.

The government peace panel restarted talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed NPA and political wing the National Democratic Front in 2016, three years after talks were shelved during the Aquino administration.

But in May, President Rodrigo Duterte ended the peace talks with the communists, blaming the NPA rebels' of continued attacks against security forces.

Duterte has repeatedly said peace negotiations between the government and the communists would only resume if they stop their extortion activities.

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