BACOLOD CITY—A suspected communist leader, his wife and four other comrades were arrested at a police checkpoint on Friday night in Ilog town, about 89 kilometers south of this city.
Reniel Cellon, alias Ka Kumpol, alleged commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) Sentro de Grabidad platoon of the Southwest Front Committee in Negros; his wife, Mary Jane Magkilat; Jose Sonny Boy Ditomal; Rodrigo Marikasa; Antonio Estaniel; and Edfan Gonzales were charged on Saturday at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Negros Occidental for gun ban violation and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Four assorted firearms, ammunition and a fragmentation grenade were recovered from the group, police said.
Cellon and Magkilat were brought to the provincial jail in Bago City, where both had pending arrest warrants for murder in connection with the death of an Army lieutenant in Cauayan town in 2011.
The couple were also facing a separate frustrated murder case, said Senior Insp. Joshua Villasis, Ilog police chief.
The four others were detained at the Ilog police station. They denied allegations that they are rebels.
According to Villasis, the six were onboard a Suzuki Carry vehicle that didn’t stop at a checkpoint in Barangay Dancalan, Ilog, on Friday night. Chasing police and military personnel cornered the vehicle at Km 105, still in Dancalan, some 50 meters away from the checkpoint.
Cellon’s group did not put up a fight, Villasis said. A .45-cal. pistol and fragmentation grenade were recovered from Cellon while a .22-cal pistol was taken from Magkilat.
Found inside the vehicle were a rifle grenade, a bandoleer containing six magazines of M-16 bullets, nine boxes containing 190 M-16 bullets, a box of Carbine bullets, antigovernment documents, including extortion letters, personal belongings and foodstuff.
Magkilat was an alleged head of the education bureau of the South West Front Committee. She was arrested in March 2012 by the military in Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental but was later released since she didn’t have a pending arrest warrant then. Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas