External firm to audit EU funds allegedly used by CPP-NPA

MANILA-- The European Union (EU) on Friday said an external company would be auditing EU's grants to non-government organizations (NGOs) in the Philippines that were allegedly funneled to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

"The EU now will verify and evaluate these documents. A financial audit by an external company is due to be conducted in April," the EU Delegation in Manila said in a statement.

The Philippine government on March 28 submitted documents and pieces of evidence to EU Programme Manager on Governance Louis Dey and Belgian Ambassador Michel Goffin, asking the two parties to "immediately cease" the release of funds.

The EU has yet to verify the allegations as it noted that the NGO concerned is registered and continues to operate legally in the Philippines.

"Should the allegations be established, the EU immediately would take full legal action," it said.

Meanwhile, the Belgium embassy in Manila said it takes the claim seriously and has immediately started investigating the matter, together with European authorities.

"The funding of non-governmental organizations is subject to strong legal requirements under Belgian law. Should these abuses be established, the Belgian government will not hesitate to stop its support and to seek to recover the amounts already disbursed," Goffin said in a statement.

The bloc underscored that CPP and the NPA are recognized by the EU as terrorist groups, which means that no asset can be held in EU by these organizations. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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