COTABATO CITY - The New People's Army (NPA) collected more than P30 million in "revolutionary taxes" from the 2nd district of North Cotabato in year 2013 alone, the military said on Thursday.
According to 57th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Nilo Vinluan, this is based on the documents they gathered from the satellite base of the rebel group in Barangay New Cebu, Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato which was seized during an operation last March 6, 2013.
"Ito na yung mga nakolekta nila mula sa mga businessmen, magsasaka, kahit nga dun sa may mga sari-sari store lang. Isipin mo nanghihingi sila ng 50 centavos kada puno ng rubber," he said.
Aside from businessmen and farmers, Vinluan said some politicians also gave money as revolutionary tax to the NPA.
"Some were candidates in the May 2013 mid-term elections," he said.
"We don't want to mention names but there are politicians talaga. And yung sa kanila, di pa kasali dun sa P33 million," he said.
According to Vinluan, the NPA remains a threat to peace and security in some parts of North Cotabato.