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Neighbor describes NPA couple quiet and reclusive

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Neighbor describes NPA couple quiet and reclusive

/ 07:35 PM March 25, 2014

TOP REDS Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army chief Benito Tiamzon (left) and his wife, Wilma (right), shout slogans after an inquest conducted by the Department of Justice at Camp Crame. PHOTOS BY MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

SAN FERNANDO, Philippines — A bungalow residential house in sitio Bolok-Bolok, Barangay (village) Sangat, had been the safe house of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army leaders Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria for over a year now.

A neighbor of the Tiamzons who refused to be named told  Philippine Daily Inquirer that the couple and six others transferred and started occupying the place last January 2013.

She said they were quiet neighbors who rarely mingled with them. “Dili kaayo tiggawas. Dili makihalobilo,” she said.

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(They are reclusive and don’t mingle with others.)

The house’s gardener who only identified herself as “Nang Ester” told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that she had only seen the Tiamzon couple, Benito and Wilma, a few times.

“Papaniudtohon ko nila sa sulod pero daklit ra nako makit-an nga mogawas na silang duha (They let me eat lunch but I seldom see them go out),” Nang Ester said.

The bungalow residential house, according to Nang Ester, is owned by the Sabellano family now residing in Talisay City.

They had the house rented for a monthly fee of P15,000 (although another information received by Inquirer Visayas showed that the couple was renting it for P20,000 a month) .

Nang Ester emphasized that the first occupants of the house were six people—three women and three men.

The Inquirer showed Nang Ester a photo of the Tiamzon couple and she confirmed that they were the two old couple he rarely saw at the house.

She said that the Tiamzons had two companions known by the names of “John-John” and “Nona.”

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According to Nang Ester, Nona described herself as a doctor and John-John as an office employee.

The bungalow house, according to a military source, is subject to a search warrant. (In an Inquirer Visayas breaking news, the same house was raided and searched by 15 cops on Tuesday afternoon [Mar. 25]).

The source said another person had been with the group but had not been included.

According to another neighbor, he saw a grey Toyota Revo went inside the house on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. It also left at past 10:30 a.m.

“Wala gyud mi kahibaw nga NPA sila,” he told the Inquirer.

(We really didn’t know they are NPA.)

The 1,600-square meter property has four nipa huts inside.

According to the military source, three of the nipa huts are used by the six other companions of the Tiamzons while the latter are the ones who occupy the rooms in the house.

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TAGS: Armed conflict, arrest, Benito Tiamzon, Communist Party of the Philippines, communist rebellion, communist rebels, guerrilla activity, Insurgency, New People's Army, News, rebellion, rebels, Regions, Safe house, Wilma Austria
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