MANILA – A man later found out to be a member of militant group Anakbayan was arrested for rape in North Cotabato, the Philippine National Police- Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said on Tuesday.
CIDG chief, Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, said the suspect, John Daniel Tan Mobo, who was arrested in Kabacan, North Cotabato on Sept. 25, has a standing warrant for statutory rape (Revised Penal Code Article 266-A in relation to Article 266-B.
Ferro said Mobo, a member of Anakbayan at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato, was participating in a silent protest against the government, when arrested.
“Yung aktibista kung may criminal offense, hindi natin sacrifice yung justice doon sa isang tao kasi kahit pulis or pulitiko hinuhuli natin. In the same manner, kahit part yan ng Makabayan bloc or makakaliwa. Kapag may criminal case or may warrant of arrest, huhulihin natin (If there is a criminal offense, we shall arrest a wanted person regardless if the suspect is an activist, police, politician, or a member of a group belonging to the Makabayan bloc),” Ferro told Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview.
The arrest of wanted persons, he said, is part of the PNP’s implementation of "Oplan Pagtugis".
“PNP has Oplan Pagtugis against most wanted persons at may warrant of arrest. Hindi natin alam kung ilan pa silang mga member malalaman lang natin yang affiliation pag nahuli natin alam lang natin yan may warrant of arrest then nung nacheck natin na member siya ng Anakbayan so nilagay natin yung affiliation niya,” he said.
Anakbayan is a militant left-wing youth-led organization of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, earlier named by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison as part of the CPP-New People’s Army (NPA).
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the CIDG together with local police units also arrested three Most Wanted Persons (MWPs) for rape in separate manhunt operations on Sept. 25.
Police identified the suspects as Tyrhon P. Villareal alias “Ron”, No. 1 MWP in Anda, Pangasinan, who was arrested in Talisay, Batangas, and Luisito Villagonzalo alias "Idol", No. 2 MWP in Cebu City, who was nabbed in Cebu.
Villagonzalo is an identified member of the “Argie Billones Criminal Group” that is engaged in gunrunning, gun-for-hire and illegal drug trade activities in Cebu City, Mandaue City, nearby cities, and Cebu province.
On Sept. 26, Joemary P. Buendia, No. 1 MWP in Naguilian, La Union, was arrested in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur for two counts of rape.
“Our duty is to uphold the law against wanted criminals, regardless of their affiliations or status, we will never quail until they face the bars of justice,” Ferro said in a separate statement. (PNA)