EU awaits data to probe ‘funneling’ of funds to CPP-NPA

Published March 16, 2019, 10:30 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

MANILA — The European Union (EU) on Friday said it is awaiting the pertinent documents to start an investigation into EU funds allegedly being funneled to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“The EU stands ready to receive precise information that would enable it to further evaluate and verify the allegations,” the EU delegation in Manila said in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.
Last month, a Philippine delegation engaged several officials from the EU and Belgian government to request them to stop the flow of funds to non-government organizations (NGOs) that grant financial assistance to front organizations of the CPP-NPA.
Philippine data showed that communist front organizations receive funds from the Belgian government and some European countries in the guise of marginalized and pro-poor programs.
Documents obtained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) revealed that the Belgian government has released its first tranche of more than 621,000 Euros (PHP36,663,840) out of the 15-million Euro (PHP885,600,000) grant to some non-government organizations for the 2017-2021 program. This year, some 1.3 million Euros (PHP76,752,000) are expected to be released.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on March 14 also informed the United Nations of EU non-government organizations’ funding of communist front organizations in the Philippines.

The EU delegation underscored that EU continues to consider both the CPP and NPA as terrorists, which means “no assets can be held in EU by these organizations.”

While the allegations have yet to be verified, it vowed to respond immediately once the illegalities have been proven.

“Should the allegations be established, the EU will immediately take full legal action,” it said.

As early as January, the EU has conducted an audit of the funds that have allegedly reached the communist groups after a request sent by the Philippine government.

Following its audit, the EU confirmed it received a Philippine delegation in February “to better understand the precise content on the allegations.”

Undersecretary Joel Egco, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, who was part of the Philippine delegation to Europe, said EU was “receptive” when it received the information and has vowed to look into the matter “seriously.”

“They promised to look into it because it is unacceptable that (their) funds are going to the front organizations of the CPP-NPA and you declared them as a terrorist organization,” he said in an earlier interview.

Both the CPP and its armed-wing, NPA, have been on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations since 2006.

AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, earlier said the government would soon file a formal complaint before the EU once it has gathered more evidence.