BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A government witness against Communist rebels who identifies himself as a former ranking urban cadre who eventually became a member of the New People’s Army’s operational command, said members of the clergy who are fronting for the CPP-NPA should be made to undergo lifestyle checks.
Ka Eric, who had been identified in some media reports as Jeffrey Celiz, told DNX the financial records of these priesta should also be scrutinized by the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) to determine if their wealth are related to “terrorist” activities being perpetrated by the underground movement.
The CPP, the main ideological group of the NPA and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, had increasingly been placed under pressure by the Duterte government after a short alliance with the populist president before and after the 2016 elections.
The CPP had been proscribed as a terrorist group by the United States government and the European Union, a tag that had been repeatedly contested by its ranking officials on self-exile in The Netherlands.
Celiz said government has yet to put a stop to the “extortion and moneymaking activities” of the CPP-NPA.
He said the fundraising campaign of the rebels are being carried out through urban-based organizations fronting for it and most of these organizations sourcing funds here and abroad are priests.
“The movement has deep and wide connections within churches in Negros island,” Celiz claimed but added some members of the clergy “don’t know they are being used” by the CPP.
He did not name any particular denomination or sect of the Church, however.
Listen to the interview below to know more.