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NPA now ‘organized crime group’

THE  communist New People’s Army (NPA) is now tabbed or called  as “organized crime group (OCG)”  by authorities, according to a military spokesman. 

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) spokesman, Col. Leopoldo Galon, said Tuesday that the OCG was coined for legal purposes after the communist rebels attacked a banana plantation  packing plant in Malinawon,  Mawab, Compostela Valley.

“We call them that now. They’ve been baptized by the Joint AFP-PNP [Armed Forces of the Philipines-Philippine National Police]  Security Coordinating Committee Region 11. It will aid our legal offensive against them,” Galon said.

Galon explained that the NPA  is no longer a  guerilla organization fighting for a cause as it has resorted to  extortion and criminal activities to gain funds and support, thus it should be called as OCG.

“It has been revealed that the NPA is losing mass base support, thus they have resorted to force and intimidation to coerce people especially poor folks in far flung villages of the country to give in to their demands,” Galon added.

The undetermined numbers of  OCG, Galon said, attacked the  Sumitomo Fruits Cop. (Sumifru) because of the refusal of the firm to comply with the  group’s  extortion demand, cough up so-called revolutionary tax.

“The attack was successfully repulsed wherein six OCG members were killed and several others wounded and five high-powered firearms recovered,” he added.

The encounter between elements of the Philippine Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion and the OCG happened on Jan. 16 at around 3 p.m.

According to Galon, residents of the area reported the movement of the OCG on board a commandeered truck heading towards the Sumifru banana plantation.

He said that the security guards of the banana plantation stood their ground and foiled the OCG’s attempt to disarm them and destroy the packing plants until the Army reinforcements arrived.
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Published : Wednesday, January 18, 2012 00:00
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