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PDEA exec: NPA now into narco-terrorism

MANILA, Philippines - Some New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have ventured into narco-terrorism, using drug money to fund their operations, an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said yesterday.

There are marijuana plantations in communist-infested areas in Western Visayas, particularly in Iloilo, Paul Ledesma, PDEA-6 regional director, said during the first quarter meeting of the Regional Peace and Order Council in Iloilo City.

Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said he also received reports confirming the existence of marijuana plantations in rebel-affected villages.

Guerrero said the military is working with anti-drug operatives to address the issue.

“Drug-related problems are outside of our usual concern, but we are more than willing to work with other agencies concerned to stop this,” he said.

In the past, Guerrero said soldiers who discover marijuana plantations either report to the PDEA or just uproot and destroy the plants.

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He said they have yet to receive reports on whether members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade are also engaged in drug trafficking.

                       

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