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BlackEagle/BlackEagle Logistics & Procurement Branch, Data Support Section
Results of Criminal Organizations Database Search: New People's Army
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New People's Army #CR0001111 (Also... Some alternate names are aliases, other are names for specific subgroups or cells). NPA Army of the People Communist People's Party Source: CIA, MI-6 Type: Political terrorist organization/guerrilla insurgency Scope: Infrequent raid and ambushes on local police and politicians. Also acts of assassination against private US citizens and US military personnel. Affiliations: Members of the NPA have received training in Libya with various other terrorist organizations, although none of those organizations maintain permanent links with the NPA. [MI-6] Personnel: 16,000 plus a variety of support groups [CIA] Operating Since: 1969 Structure: Military style hierarchy. Militia units of ten to twenty individuals, organized into companies, all falling under a single central command group. Leaders: Jose Maria Sison [#LL5187345], head of the Communist People's Party, currently resides in the Netherlands, Romulo Kintanar [#LL5209734], head of NPA General Command, arrested 1991. Legitimate Connections: Connections with members of the Philippine military and politicians. Further training may come from members of the Philippine military. Resources: Smallarms, explosives and some light military weapons. Receives funding from overseas fundraisers in Western Europe and elsewhere; also linked to Libya. Derives most of its funding from contributions of supporters so-called revolutionary taxes extorted from local businesses. Suspected Criminal Activity: The NPA is in disarray because of a split in the CPP, a lack of money, and successful government operations. With US military gone from the country, NPA has engaged in urban terrorism against the police, corrupt politicians, drug traffickers, and other targets that evoked popular anger. From 1974 to 1991, the NPA conducted at least 56 noteworthy actions of which 23 were assassinations, 8 were bombings and arson, 5 were kidnappings, 4 were armed attacks, while the remaining 16 were threats not followed by any fulfilling action. Four kidnappings were for ransom, while a kidnapping of a South Korean contractor on 10 November 1987 was undertaken to force the Philippine Army to remove units from a certain region. Certain of the bombings and arson attacks against foreign-owned farms and factories also may have been retaliation for refusal to pay extortion money. Except for the shooting deaths of three servicemen at Subic Bay on 13 April 1974 and a few sniping and mortar attacks on the Voice of America transmitting station in the Tinang area, there had been virtually no attacks on Americans until 28 October 1987 when two U.S. servicemen, one retired U.S. serviceman, and a Filipino retired from the U.S. armed forces were gunned down by Sparrow Squads. On 15 April 1987, the NPA had announced that it would deploy the Sparrow Squads to kill U.S. military personnel or diplomats involved in the Philippines counterinsurgency program, but none of those killed on 28 October fit that description. On 21 April 1989, Sparrows shot dead U.S. Army Colonel James Rowe while he was driving to work in Manila. On 26 September 1989, the NPA murdered two U.S. Defense Department civilian workers outside Clark Air Force Base. On 6 March 1990, an American rancher was murdered for refusing to pay the NPA extortion money. On 13 May 1990, two U.S. Air Force airmen were shot dead by NPA gunmen near Clark Air Force Base. Additional Commentary: The guerrilla arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines [(CCP)], founded the NPA in 1969 as its armed wing to carry out protracted armed struggle to overthrow the current constitutional government in favor of a "people's democratic state." Although primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA has an active urban infrastructure to carry out terrorism; uses city based assassination squads called sparrow units. Chinese sponsorship of the NPA ended in 1976, and following some retrenchment, the group began to grow again by 1982, financing itself through extortion and arming itself by raids on police and army units. While the NPA is the armed wing of the outlawed CPP-ML, it has established its own legal political front, the National Democratic Front, which operates openly in Manila. The head of the CPP-ML, Jose Maria Sison, currently resides in the Netherlands. The membership of the NPA is estimated to have 18,000 to 20,000 members and a much larger support network. While originally a rural guerrilla insurgency following Maoist precepts of guerrilla warfare, in recent years the NPA has involved itself increasingly in urban operations and in entrepreneurial terrorism in targeting foreign investors and contract workers for extortion or else for kidnapping to gain ransom. The more purely revolutionary terrorism of the group is seen in the operations of its death squads, called "Sparrow Squads," who murder Filipino politicians, military figures, policemen, government collaborators, and even members of the news media who dare criticize the NPA. These actions are meant to drive foreign investment out and to provoke the government to undertake repressive measures that would discredit it with the Filipino population. Prior to the 1992 closing of Clark Air Force Base and the Subic Bay U.S. Naval facility, the Sparrows had also targeted U.S. servicemen. Within those parts of central and northern Luzon island where the NPA controls rural areas and villages as well as within the ranks of NPA members and supporters, the organization also practices its own repressive terrorism, having imprisoned, tortured, or executed some 1,000 of their own ranks in recent years. Since 1987 there has been a marked upswing in NPA terrorism. The growth and success of the group is in part due to the neglect of the countryside and corruption experienced during the Marcos regime as well as the difficulties of the Aquino administration in presiding over the transition to a democratic order. The marked increase in NPA terrorism since 1987 may be due to the NPA exploiting a unique historic opportunity afforded by the instability accompanying the transition from dictatorship to democracy. Such an explanation may account for increased NPA terrorism directed at others but does not so readily explain the upswing in the NPA's internal purges and disciplining of its own members. This increased internally directed terrorism may be an attempt to quell dissent within the NPA ranks over the proper goal and strategy of the NPA in the post- Marcos era. During 1991, the Philippine government captured over 80 ranking members of the CPP- ML and the NPA, including Romulo Kintanar, head of the NPA General Command. These arrests and the successful convictions of the murderers of Colonel Rowe set back the terrorist operations of the NPA for most of that year. Despite these setbacks, the NPA has shown itself to be one of the few leftist insurgencies that is still actively growing, despite the demise of communism throughout the rest of the world, and through its urban terrorism it continues to pose a significant threat to the stability of the current democratic government in the Philippines.