Army arrests 19 suspected NPA rebels



BACOLOD CITY—Nineteen persons were arrested on Thursday because they were allegedly involved in a gun battle with Army troops.

Colonel Francisco Patrimonio, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said they arrested 19 persons at the encounter site in Sitio Mahopaho, Barangay (village) San Agustin, Isabela town, Negros Occidental. Isabela town is located 78.2 kilometers south of Bacolod City.

Two soldiers, Private First Class Dennis Acosta and Pfc. Oliver Grecia, died in the encounter. Three of the four injured soldiers were 2nd Lt. Shannon Pamitan, Sgt. Romeo Castellano and Pfc. Justin Esquibel, all assigned at the 11th Infantry Battalion (IB).

But Karapatan-Negros secretary general Fred Cana said Army soldiers committed human rights violations by arresting civilians they were supposed to protect.

Patrimonio, however, noted that the arrested persons were in a remote area where there were no houses.

“Why were they (the alleged rebels) in the encounter site?” Patrimonio asked.

He added that they would still pursue the filing of criminal charges against the 19 arrested persons, including three who claimed they were minors.

Patrimonio said the 19 persons could be held liable for the murder of the two soldiers and the attempt to kill four other government troops.

The Army on Thursday turned over the arrested persons to the Isabela police for further investigation.

Inspector Jason Manguilimutan, Isabela police chief, on Friday said the 19 persons endorsed to them were subjected to paraffin tests by the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory personnel to determine if they have fired guns.

Manguilimutan said they would assist the Army only in the filing of the case against the arrested persons.

After the gun battle between 11th IB soldiers led by 1st Lt. Von Ryan Gomez and about 40 alleged armed rebels, the military seized a camp in the same barangay that could accommodate 50 persons that was believed to have been used by the New People’s Army (NPA).

The Army soldiers recovered from the camp several combat packs, a .45 cal. pistol with ammunition, magazines of M14 and M16 assault rifles, antigovernment documents and a CPP-NPA flag, among others.

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  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    “allegedly involved”

    something is dead wrong here!

    • Loggnat

       They were apprehended in the middle of nowhere in the vicinity of an encounter with the NPA, and a stones throw away from a military type camp that is believed to be of the NPA. In the camp were assorted military style assault rifles, handgun, ammunition plus anti-government along with CPP-NPA flag. Well, I guess they were just members of a Hiking Society just going to their regular outdoor adventures, ha?…:). Hogwash!! And the military even turned them in to the police for further investigation because the Army will be filing criminal charges. WOW! That was a very commendable move from the military specially when they lost a couple of their troops in the firefight. The normal way will be to turn them in to the military units intelligence personnel for interrogation and to determine if they are members of the terrorist group called the NPA.

      • pepito gwaps

        Ipaparaffin test nga. Yong negative pd ngang nagcacamping lang

  • Fred

    Umamin na lang kayo, tapos humingi kayo ng amnesty, bwisit.

  • m1600

    hindi naman daw sila NPA mga Boys Scout daw sila na nag cacamping sa Bundok.

  • Rudy

    Nice going Philippine army! NPA are assassins and bandits that must be held accountable. Proud of the Philippine army.

  • joboni96

    mga kaka at mga sarge

    concentrate na tayo sa
    hegemonistang intsik switik
    na kumamkam na ng eez at kalayaan natin

    at sa

    imperyalistang u.s.
    na kinokolonya ulit tayo
    para ipahamak na naman tayo
    sa gerra nila sa intsik switik

    kailangang mangibabaw ang pilipino
    sa mga pagsubok na ito

    unang una pagkakaisa

  • delpillar

    mahihirapan kayong kasuhan yan kasi sabi sa revised penal code of the Philippines, within 48 hours kapag di kayo naghain sa courte ng charges ay kailangang palabasin sa kulungan ang mga yan.

    Memorized ng mga NPA ang Revised Penal code of the Philippines at saka di naman nila suot yung green na uniforme ng NPA na pinapakita sa dyaryo at TV.

    Better luck next time na lang mga magigiting na sundalo.

    Nakaposas ang isa nyong mga kamay dahil ang NPA ay ginagamit ang Revised Penal Code kapag kamiembro nila ang nahuli then kapag sila naman ang nagpataw ng charges sa nahuling sundalo ay GENEVA CONVENTIONS kuno ang pinagbabasehan plus NPA Kangaeoo Court System.

    RIP to the two brave soldiers.

  • Gretchen Wieners

    hahaha pulpol na afp dahil talo sa bakbakan sibilyan ang pinupuntirya hahahahaha mga pulpol

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