Thirty-five-year-old “Babe,” who was the deputy general of education of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee, recalled that as the youngest cadre of the communist organization in the region, she became an instrument in the collection of over P100 million from politicians in the 2016 national and local elections.
According to her, they “negotiated” with gubernatorial and congressional candidates in the region. “We write to politicians then we personally meet in Manila to collect election access fees known to the public as the permit to campaign,” she said.
She added that election access fees can go as high as P25 million for the gubernatorial and congressional post and they collect the money in four to five tranches.
Babe mentioned incumbent officials from Northern Samar, Western Samar, and Eastern Samar, and two congressional candidates in Leyte whom she transacted with.
“All transactions are in cash and no bank accounts are involved. Once we are able to collect, we immediately travel back to Eastern Visayas to turn over the money to the EVRPC secretary,” she said.
As negotiators, they were not allowed to use the EAC fee. Once accepted by the party committee secretary, 20 percent is allocated for the region and the remaining 80 percent is saved for the Central Committee.
Her conscience was bothered as none of the money they have received was used for any project for the masses, particularly in Northern Samar where most of their members and collections come from.
“The 20 percent is used to purchase guns, Improvised Explosive Devices, medicines, laptops, cellphones, and projectors for the ground operations,” she recalled.
She revealed that were also disagreements and bullying within the organization which made her intention to leave stronger.
“As an NPA official, I had a say on the strategies and tactics of the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) in the region. However, because I was an urban cadre and have not been trained in firefights, I was being bullied,” she said.
One of their disagreements was the approach in organizing in barangays, which she proposed to be helped develop economically through projects.
When Babe became pregnant with her first child, she and her husband, a squad leader of the NPA in Northern Samar, left the organization she was affiliated for over 20 years.
Babe was only 15 when she was recruited by a Left-leaning organization during her first year at UP Visayas Tacloban College.
She eventually became a full-fledged member of the CPP-NPA operating in urban areas for 10 years. She also served as an official of the NPA for six years.