MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Monday commended the arrest in Butuan City of three suspects, including a barangay official, who were caught transporting thousands of bullets and food supplies for the terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the Caraga region.
This, after Police Regional Office-Caraga chief, Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat, reported the arrest of the suspects identified as Ferdinand Aque Dagium, 27, a barangay kagawad in Agusan del Sur; his brother Rolando Aque Dagium, 34; and Marvin Pepito Merencillo, 26, in a joint police and military operations at a checkpoint in Purok 1B, Barangay Pianing on September 3.
Eleazar said the many bullets are intended for the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“I commend both the policemen and soldiers for this great job and I expect all our forces in other areas to intensify further the campaign against the communist rebels especially with the forthcoming elections wherein the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) remains the biggest threat in terms of election-related violence and extortion,” he in a video message.
He said the arrest of the NPA couriers proved that the government’s campaign to put an end to more than 50 years of communist insurgency is on the track.
“The PNP will continue supporting all the programs to achieve this goal both through aggressive operations and non-military solutions,” he added.
The Caraga police said the three NPA couriers belong to the Regional Sentro de Grabidad of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA.
“The joint operation was launched after we received a report on the transportation of the ammunition and the movement of the NPA rebels in the area,” Caramat said.
Seized from them were 4,800 pieces of 7.62mm AK-47 live ammunition, two pieces rifle grenades, three units of single motorcycles and various food supplies.
The operation was conducted by the Regional Intelligence Division 13, Butuan City Police Station 4, Butuan City Mobile Force Company, Butuan City Intelligence Unit, Butuan City Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Canine Unit, as well as forces from the Philippine Army’s 65th and 75th Infantry Battalion.
The police and the military set up the checkpoint in the area upon receiving reports about the movement of these lawless elements.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)