BACOLOD CITY – The local Communist Party of the Philippines is poised to step up its “extortion activities and atrocities” through its armed wing, the New People’s Army, with the opening of the milling season in Negros island.
Army Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo said it is a “probability” that the Maoist rebels are preparing to scale up their military operations after soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion clashed with at least 20 suspected guerrillas of the NPA in Manjuyod town, Thursday.
The gunbattle that lasted under an hour took place in the upland sub-village of Cabangahan, Bantolinao village.
The 94th is the newest maneuver battalion added to the 303rd Infantry Brigade that Arevalo commands.
The taxation activities of the NPA, which the CPP calls as “rebolusyunaryong buhis sa kaaway nga sahi (revolutionary tax on the class enemy)” or RBKS is a “tax” of the CPP in areas it consider to be under its “red political power,” a former regional secretary of the CPP told DNX.
However, since 2002, confusions and disagreements occured within the Party itself when all areas covered by sugarcane fields were placed under the jurisdiction of guerrilla fronts and were taken away from the Regional Urban-White Area Committee or RUWAC, an ex-member of RUWAC said.
The most common targets for RBKS are sugarcane planters, local businessmen, even politicians, the source added.
These are “asked,” oftentimes with the threat of military action, to pay in cash the tax calculated by the CPP based on the “taxpayer’s” income, production and political “track record,” among other variables.
Arevalo said the Brigade had stepped up its operations in preparation for the milling season operations of the NPA.