CPP: Military ‘bounty’ to lead to fake reports, atrocities

MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels slammed the military practice of giving “follow-through” funds to units as an incentive in the counterinsurgency campaign, calling it a “bounty” to be used as a “pretext for more corruption and brutalities.”

Military officials have confirmed initiating the giving of the incentives as part of efforts to meet President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 2010 deadline to crush the communist insurgency.

Under the “follow-through” funds scheme, a unit can receive as much as P300,000 for dismantling a New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla front.

And, while saying the granting of the funds is not official policy, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said he would not discourage it either.

But Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) spokesman Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal claimed in a statement that the financial incentive only highlighted the military’s “failure to stem the rising tide of the revolutionary movement.”

“This scheme is only bound to produce more fake reports, false raids and more atrocities against innocent civilians,” Rosal said.

He said the incentive scheme is not new “except that it is now being publicized and openly admitted.”

“Ever since, AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] field commanders, in collusion with their high command and underlings, have regularly and blatantly been fabricating reports about operations supposedly conducted and victories allegedly gained against the…NPA just to collect their supposed expenses for operations that never took place,” the rebel spokesman said.

Rosal also claimed the military resorts to reporting the “elimination” or “neutralization” of rebels to mask human rights violations such as “massacres and illegal arrests of activists in the legal arena, suspected supporters of the revolutionary movement, and innocent civilians.”

He also accused the military of staging fake surrenders to pocket funds earmarked for surrendered rebels. (PDI)

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