Armed Philippines Maoists, the "New People's Army," is on an out-of-control extortion spree, according to the outlet ABS-CBN News.
Just last year, as the Philippines government negotiated with the communist rebels, officials seemed sure they could end the insurgency once and for all. The rebellion, which seeks a capatalism-free Philippines, has left more than 40,000 dead.
The Philippines is explaining -- spinning? -- the escalation in extortion and violence not as a resurgence but as a campaign of desperation. The rebels, according to the military, are suffering "continuously declining mass-base support."
Whether they're on the upswing or downswing, Maoist insurgency still pays: the insurgents collected, according to the military, about $6.9 million last year.