NDF consultant, retired priest nabbed in Cavite
SAN PEDRO CITY — A peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was arrested anew for illegal possession of firearms in Imus City in Cavite province.
Renante Gamara is scheduled to undergo inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice in Manila on Thursday afternoon, said Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, director of the National Capital Region Police Office.
Gamara was a former Secretary of the Metro Manila Regional Party of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NPA). He was the fifth NDFP consultant arrested since President Duterte terminated the peace negotiations in December 2017.
Arrested with Gamara was Arturo Joseph Balagat, a retired Catholic priest from the Diocese of San Bernardino in California, a police report said.
Balagat also reportedly headed the Social Concern Multipurpose Cooperative.
In separate phone interviews, Eleazar and Cavite police chief Sr. Supt. William Segun said a combined team from the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested Gamara and Balagat in an “underground safehouse” in Barangay (village) Poblacion II-A around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“We had a warrant (of arrest) for illegal possession of firearms,” Eleazar said in a phone interview.
The warrant was issued by Judge Cynthia Marino-Ricablanca of Branch 27 in Sta. Cruz Laguna.
Authorities said they recovered two hand grenades and .9-mm caliber gun. They also found P90,000 cash and “subversive” document.
In April 2012, Gamara was also arrested in Las Piñas City but was eventually released to participate in the 2016 peace talks in Oslo, Norway.
Gamara will be facing charges for violation of Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition and Omnibus Election Code at the Department of Justice. /lzb /ee
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