NTF-ELCAC terror-tagging business, politicians to set stage for extortion

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is setting the stage for its drive to extort and intimidate business firms and politicians after announcing yesterday that some of them have been giving support to the revolutionary movement and can be charged under the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL).

This is clearly another case of the US-Duterte regime using its counterinsurgency campaign to secure the outcome of the 2022 elections and its scheme to perpetuate its dynasty in power.

Since assuming power, Duterte has been using every possible tactic to extort money from big businessmen by threatening or actually hitting at their operations with charges of tax fraud and other methods. Over the past year, Duterte shut down the free broadcast operations of ABS-CBN and wrested control of water concessions from the Ayalas and Pangilinans in order to hand it over to his crony Enrique Razon.

With the NTF-ELCAC’s announcement, there is the danger that military and police force will be used against big business to seize their operations in the name of counterinsurgency.

NTF-ELCAC is claiming a secret list of “terrorist supporters” in the same way that Duterte used his dubious “narco list” to arm-twist and threaten politicians and big business, and employ armed violence against those who refused to bow to his tyranny.

The NTF-ELCAC is making fools of the Filipino people by citing supposed reports of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) as basis for their plans. The NICA’s so-called “intelligence reports” are typically half-witted concocted stories produced by the wild imagination of its head, Alex Paul Monteagudo. He is the same officer behind the recent unsubstantiated red-tagging against a government employees union in the Senate.

To lend urgency to his story, Monteagudo claims that the CPP has earned as much as ₱5-billion in tax revenues from payments made by big businesses and politicians. What the NICA is inadvertently saying is that the CPP/NPA remains strong and able to exercise its authority to levy taxes, contrary to the persistent claims of the NTF-ELCAC of diminishing support and strength of the revolutionary forces.

By using the ATL and accusing the political opposition of connivance with the revolutionary movement, Duterte wants to eliminate any significant challenge to its plans to extend its tyrannical reign in the 2022 elections. Last March, he had local police forces assassinate Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino, a leader of the opposition party in Eastern Visayas, to serve as an example of the fate of those who would stubbornly oppose his tyranny. Local police forces have been accusing Aquino of having links with the New People’s Army.

All the democratic forces of the Filipino people must be forewarned of this dirty tactic of the NTF-ELCAC and expose and resist all their tyrannical machinations.

NTF-ELCAC terror-tagging business, politicians to set stage for extortion