Another NPA leader flees with embezzled money

March 27, 2010 11:24 pm 

MANILA, March 27 – Another New People's Army (NPA) rebel leader in Mindanao is the object of a manhunt operation by his own group after he allegedly embezzled undetermined amount of extorted money.

Vicente Taoy, alias Benal, secretary and political officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA’s Guerilla Front-2 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) is the second documented NPA leader from SMRC this year who ran off with party funds accumulated from NPA’s extortion activities.

Menandro Villanueva, a.k.a.Nelson/Bok, the overall secretary of SMRC, was previously reported to have failed to remit the collected Permit-To-Campaign (PTC) fees to higher leaders, and is now hiding in Metro Manila.

Taoy was in charge of collecting extortion fees from mining operators at the Panganason gold rush area in Brgy. Napnapan, owners of banana plantations, and from the Mampising CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative Patukan, all in Compostela Valley province.

“What we are seeing here is a prevalence of fraud, thievery, and blatant abuse by CPP-NPA leaders. We are not surprised that those members with some decency and conscience have deserted the group. Those who stayed are just waiting for their chance to get their own share of loot; these are criminals without the moral backbone,” said Brig. Gen. Francisco N. Cruz Jr, commander of the AFP's Civil Relations Group.

The CPP-NPA is also eyeing the gold tunnel, or processing plant, and a general merchandise hardware store set-up by Taoy in Brgy. Napnapan, Pantukan town. The province of Compostela Valley, specifically the Pantukan area, is a source of gold deposits.

“The possibility for killing each other is very strong in this instance especially with angry and envious CPP-NPA comrades. What is likely to happen next is that many others will fight for the position occupied by Taoy, follow his examples, and make the CPP-NPA a milking cow. Money and vested interests will worsen the rift inside the CPP-NPA”, said Cruz.(PNA) VR

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