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While talking peace! NPA extortion, attacks hurting farmers, big agri corps --Siena Luchansky

While talking peace

By Manny Piñol

The Communist New People's Army (NPA) are on a rampage extorting money from poor farmers, small businessmen and burning and destroying equipment and properties of big agricultural corporations who refuse to pay the "revolutionary tax."
Siena Luchansky
PTPA Siena Luchansky
Small rubber farmers in North Cotabato complain that NPA revolutionary tax collectors impose a P3 a month payment for every rubber tree which means that if a farmer has a one-hectare area with 500 trees, he has to pay P1,500 every month.

In Malimono, Surigao del Norte, the country's poorest town which I visited last Saturday, residents complained that even small sari-sari stores are being taxed by the NPAs.

"Wala may mahimo ang mga pobre kay hadlok kay naa man silay mga pusil," said a Malimono resident who asked me to relay the problem to President Rody Duterte.

(The poor can do nothing, they are afraid because they (NPAs) have guns.)

The biggest losses suffered because of the NPA extortion activities are those of the agricultural corporations mainly in the Mindanao who produce bananas and pineapple for export.

From February to March 27, 2017 alone, banana and pineapple companies reported nine attacks which resulted in the death of seven soldiers and two suspected NPA cadres and the destruction of hundreds of millions worth of equipment.

The latest incidents happened in succession from March 25 to 27 when the NPAs waylaid and burned three fruit container vans of Dole Stanfilco in Maragusan, Compostela Valley on March 25, shot and damaged a Cessna aerial spray plane of Sumitumo Fruits in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur on March 26 and attacked another Sumifru Facility in Malaybalay, Bukidnon on March 27 burning the packing house, a multi-million peso worth Martignani Boom Spray Truck and two hauler trucks.

In August last year, Dole Stanfilco was forced to close down its operations in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur which employed about 1,500 poor workers after a series of attacks by the NPAs.

Multi-national companies who have supply agreements to customers in the United States of America bear the brunt of the attacks because of their refusal to pay the "revolutionary tax."

The US government imposes stiff sanctions to companies and corporations who contribute willingly or unwillingly to terrorist organisations which include the NPAs.

On Monday night, executives of Del Monte Fresh met with me in my farm in Kidapawan City to complain against the undeterred extortion activities and harassments by the NPAs which they said were hurting the industry.

Yesterday, Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) President Steve Antig wrote a letter to President Duterte to ask for help in addressing the worsening security situation of the agricultural companies in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country.

Today, I will take up this problem with President Duterte.

#StopNPAExtortion! #TalkPeaceDoPeace!

(Photos of the latest NPA destruction in Malaybalay, Bukidnon downloaded from the Facebook page of AP Reel while the photo of dislocated workers of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur was taken by Chris Panganiban of Inquirer-Mindanao.)

While talking peace! NPA extortion, attacks hurting farmers, big agri corps --Siena Luchansky While talking peace! NPA extortion, attacks hurting farmers, big agri corps --Siena Luchansky Reviewed by Raelyn Luchansky on 8:19:00 PM Rating: 5

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