Army says 3 Reds caught planting IEDs in North Samar town
TACLOBAN CITY — The military announced the arrest of what it said were communist rebels allegedly caught planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the town of Las Navas, Northern Samar province last Monday (June 1).
According to the military, arrested were Carlos Baluyot, 53, and his two companions—Alvino Lucapa, 46, and a 17-year-old boy. They were detained at the Northern Samar police jail to await filing of charges for illegal possession of explosives and firearms.
Lt. Sarah Jane Escobio, civil military operations officer of the 20th Infantry Battalion based in Las Navas, said soldiers were at the village of Epaw to check reports that armed men were demanding food and cash from residents.
While on the way to the village, government soldiers caught the three suspects in the act of planting the IEDs.
The three alleged NPA rebels did not fight back, Escobio said.
Seized from the suspects were two IEDs, a .45 caliber pistol and P25,000 in cash.
Escobio said Baluyot’s group operates in Las Navas and nearby towns.
Col. Lowell Tan, commanding officer of the Army’s 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Catarman, Northern Samar, said it was sad to think that the rebels continued to engage in illegal activities despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In this time of crisis where the nation is battling the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the communist rebels have disregarded the wellbeing of their members just to push their evil intent,” he said in a statement.
“I call on the remaining NPA members in Northern Samar to surface and free themselves from the bondage of fear,” said Tan.
His statement said the provincial government and Army will help the suspects start a new life through the government’s counterinsurgency program Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
Edited by TSB
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