By Genalyn Kabiling
The European Union (EU) has committed to audit the funds released to groups with suspected links to the communist terrorist group and put on hold any pending allocation for as long as it can, a senior military official said Wednesday.
Armed Forces deputy chief of staff Brig. General Antonio Parlade Jr. issued the statement as the government prepares to file a formal complaint seeking to stop EU funding of the communist group through their front organizations.
“Iyong na-release nila, na-release na iyon so inu-audit nila. Iyong hindi pa nila nari-release, hinu-hold muna nila hangga’t kaya nila, kasi naka-program na iyon [They are auditing the funds they have released. To the funds that have not been released, they’re putting them on hold for as long as they can since they have already been programmed],” Parlade said during a Palace press briefing.
“So it’s actually … ang bola nasa atin para ipakita sa kanila iyong mga documentations na hinihingi nila [So the ball is in our court to show the documentation they needed],” he said.
Last month, the government sent a team to Europe to warn about the funding given to front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The team, including Parlade and other senior government officials, met with the EU representatives to plead for a cessation of foreign aid to dubious projects of leftist non-government organizations.
Parlade said the EU representatives were surprised to find out some organizations were connected with the communist group.
He said the EU has promised to stop funding the programs of these front organizations but asked first for additional evidence to support the government’s allegations.
“They wanted us to provide more evidence, and then to file the formal complaint because, during the time when we went to Europe, we didn’t have the formal—exploratory nga. So that’s what we are doing now, we are consolidating all our evidence para i-submit sa European Union – and as soon as they have that, they promised to stop this funding,” he said.
He said they have identified around 30 front groups but the list could still reach to a hundred.
Among the front groups benefitting from the EU financing were Karapatan, IBON Foundation, Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Parlade said. Some front groups were also allegedly teaching children as young as seven years old to become rebels, he added.
Citing an example, Parlade said the EU has committed to giving 2 million euros to the group of rural missionaries.
“It’s all about money…I think this is really a big scam that we have to uncover,” he said.