LUCENA CITY–Three suspected New People’s Army rebels, including a minor, were captured by a combined team of Army soldiers and local police in Mulanay, Quezon shortly before midnight Friday, a regional military spokesman said.
Colonel Generoso Bolina, of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) based in Camp Nakar here, said the alleged rebels – Dennis Quidor, an NPA unit leader with an alias “Ka Anghel/Jabar; and his companions Eliseo Lopez and a 17-year-old male – were nabbed while travelling aboard two motorcycles-for-hire.
Bolina said the government forces were alerted when the rebels and their two hired drivers evaded an Army checkpoint in the nearby town of San Francisco.
Bolina claimed the rebels were on a surveillance operation for the planned attacks in the towns of Mulanay, San Francisco and San Narciso by the combined force of communist guerrillas from the Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions.
The arrested rebels yielded explosive devices, a hand grenade, one cal. 22 and one cal. 45 handguns, M16 magazines and ammunition, and communist documents, he said.
In a statement issued on Friday, Eduardo Labrador, spokesman of the communist-led National Democratic Front in Southern Tagalog claimed that some 50 Red fighters had been recently dispatched in Southern Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula area.
Lt. Colonel Dennis Perez, commander of the Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion operating in Quezon, ignored Salvador’s claim of additional force.
“That’s basic empty propaganda – pretend to be strong when actually weak. They were just deceiving themselves,” Perez said over the phone.
On Thursday, a band of suspected NPA rebels executed two members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) and one farmer in Tagkawayan, Quezon, according to a police report from Camp Nakar.
The victims were identified as Adriano Lusanta and Jeffrey Mendoza, – both Cafgu members based in Barangay (village) Casispalan detachment in Tagkawayan – and farmer Efren Gacilla Jr.
The killings in Tagkawayan and the arrest of the suspected rebels came just as both the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines agreed to a 27-day holiday truce, from Dec. 20, 2012 to Jan. 15, 2013, to help restart their stalled peace negotiation.