EU doing audit to find out if they are giving funds to front groups of CPP-NPA
The European Union (EU) on Saturday said they had conducted a financial audit to verify if they are giving funds to non-government organizations allegedly involved with the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
In a statement, EU said they considered the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups since 2005.
“Responding to the allegations put forward by the Philippine Government in January against a specific Philippine NGO (non-government organization), the EU conducted an audit of the funds from the EU that allegedly were funnelled from that NGO to the NPA or the CPP, but has so far (EU has) not been able to verify the allegations,” it said.
“It should be noted that so far the NGO is fully registered and continues to operate legally in the Philippines,” it added.
The EU said they received a Philippine delegation in Brussels last February to understand the content on the allegations.
During the meeting, the EU declared it is ready to receive precise information that would enable it to evaluate and verify the allegations.
“Should the allegations be established, the EU immediately would take full legal action,” it said.
Last March 28, the EU received a set of documents concerning more specific allegations by the Philippine government. The EU will verify and evaluate the documents, it said.
“A financial audit by an external company is due to be conducted in April,” EU said.
The statement came after National Security Adviser and vice chairman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Hermogenes Esperon formally wrote to the European Union (EU) to "immediately cease" its funding being funneled to groups acting as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA.
In a letter to Gilles De Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator dated March 26, Esperon said EU funds are being used to sustain terrorist activities of the communist rebels.
In his letter, Esperon listed three Belgian NGOs which have "indirectly and unwittingly partnered" with various NGOs in the Philippines that act as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA, namely the Solidagro, Viva Salud, and Kiyo.
Among the listed Philippine NGOs were the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development; IBON Foundation; Karapatan; Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc.; the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines; the Salugpungan Ta'tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, Inc.; the Alliance of Health Workers; the Kilusang Mayo Uno; Gabriela; and ACT.
Esperon said 60 percent of the funds received by Filipino NGOs are diverted to the NPA through their "triple or multiple funding scheme."
"Through these front organizations, the CPP-NPA is able to solicit and exploit funds from countries in the EU and the EU itself to support legitimate projects that are made to appear as aiding the poor," he said.
The scheme is said to be implemented by simultaneously submitting a single proposal to different countries.
"Countries or funding agencies who have given their seal of approval are unaware that they are funding a particular project, which had already been funded by other countries or funding agencies. As a result, a single project receives double funding,” Esperon said. Ella Dionisio/DMS