ALLEGED NPA HITMEN. Police and military operatives arrest Regie A. Ligan, an alleged squad leader of the New People’s Army Guerrilla Front 21, during a law enforcement operation on March 11, 2023 in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte province. Ligan’s companion in the same NPA unit, identified as Gabriel R. Sagay, was also collared. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13)

BUTUAN CITY – A team of police and military operatives have arrested over the weekend two alleged hitmen of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte province, a police official said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra II, director of the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13), identified the suspects as Regie A. Ligan, 20, of Remedios T. Romualdez town, Agusan del Norte, and Gabriel R. Sagay, 28, of Barangay Pianing here.

Labra said the suspects yielded a 9mm-caliber pistol and a .45-caliber pistol when authorities arrested them on March 11.

Police said both Ligan and Sagay were members of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) squad leader of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 21C, NPA Guerrilla Front 21, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

 “The arrested NPA members have standing arrest warrants issued by the local courts in the region,” Labra said.

Ligan has an arrest warrant for attempted homicide issued in Oct. 2022 by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court here, while Sagay has a pending frustrated murder case in May 2021 before the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 in Bayugan City.

Labra said the .9mm pistol taken from the suspects had a Philippine National Police marking issued to Patrolman Nazar Alistair A. Libot, who was killed when the NPA ransacked a farm in Butuan City in 2021.

The .45-caliber pistol, on the other hand, also indicated some markings from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Labra said the suspects also yielded five sachets of shabu with a street value of PHP6,800. (PNA)