ARRESTED. The Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region reports the arrest of Dante C. Sanchez, an alleged New People’s Army rebel tagged in the ambush-slay of an indigenous people leader in Lianga town, Surigao del Sur province on Oct. 4, 2020. Sanchez is also wanted for four counts of murder, theft and attempted murder. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13)

BUTUAN CITY – A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebel linked to the ambush-slay of an Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in Surigao del Sur province two years ago has been arrested, a top police official bared Friday.

Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra II, director of the Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13), identified the captured communist insurgent as Dante C. Sanchez, 46, a member of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), an IP organization known for its alleged links with the NPA.

Labra said Sanchez works under the NPA Guerrilla Front 19, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee. He was served with an arrest warrant Wednesday at Barangay San Isidro in Marihatag town, Surigao del Sur province.

“Sanchez had arrest warrants for four counts of murder issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 28 in Lianga,” Labra said in a statement.

He said the suspect is also wanted for theft and attempted murder.

“Based on the report from the Lianga municipal police station, Sanchez was among the communist rebels who ambushed and killed Datu Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the IPMR of Lianga,” Labra said.

Bucales, a staunch anti-communist crusader who criticized the NPA for its atrocities against tribal members, was waylaid on Oct. 4, 2020 in Barangay Banahao, Lianga town.

Two other companions of Bucales, including a militiaman, also died in the ambush. (PNA)