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Cutting the funds flow to the CPP-NPA

by Atty. Ignacio R. Bunye

President Rodrigo Duterte could not hide his frustration when he recently declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

This came in the heels of an earlier presidential decision to terminate all talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF leadership based in the Netherlands.

To the layman, the termination of the on again-off again talks with Jose Maria Sison and company is fairly understandable. Sison et al have not shown any good faith in dealing with the government. While the talks are going on, the CPP-NPA on the ground have not stopped attacking government troops and extorting from business establishments in their area of influence.

In fact many have been wondering why it took so long for the President to pull out of the talks.

But the declaration of the CPP-NPA (but not the NDF) as a terrorist group is something else and it needs further explanation.

By way of background, the United States has long declared the CPP-NPA as terrorists. The US has been badgering the Philippines to do the same. Sison et al, for their part, deny to the death that they are a terrorist group.

So why is so much importance attached to the label?

The short answer is:

Post 9/11, a terrorist organization will find it more difficult, although not impossible, to raise funds and to move it around in order to finance its activities.

It all started when the the UN Security Council adopted a wide-ranging resolution demanding member countries to take action to suppress terrorist financing.

150 governments responded positively and have since passed legislation criminalizing terrorist financing, and also requiring financial institutions to report suspicious tranctions.

In these jurisdictions, banks are now required to check their clients and third parties involved in transactions against a list of suspected terrorists.

The same governments have also ratified the UN Convention on Financing Terrorism. The convention has created a greater degree of international cooperation in tracking down terrorist financiers.

To a certain extent, the legal measures have disrupted the flow of funds used for terrorist activities, constraining overall capabilities of terrorists and helping frustrate their ability to timely execute attacks.

With such measures applying to the CPP-NPA, the group needs to work doubly hard to source their requirements outside of their usual “charitable” sources.

Most sportsmanlike of De La Salle
There are many memorable moments in the recently concluded UAAP Season 80 basketball championship but for me, one of the most unforgettable occurred outside the court.

Immediately, after the final buzzer which saw the Ateneo Blue Eagles snatch this year’s crown, the De La Salle building was bathed in bright blue lights. And it stayed so overnight. For a while, passersby thought there must have been a mistake.

But no, it was really intended by the De La Salle Green Archers as an accolade to a very worthy opponent.

What a magnificent gesture of sportsmanship.

Saludo ako sa inyo!

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