Police raid village in Misamis Oriental, arrest 7 lumad men
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Police arrested seven indigenous people in Misamis Oriental on Friday (June 26), accusing the men of keeping a cache of unlicensed firearms and involvement with communist rebels.
Lt. Noel Oclarit, deputy team leader of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Misamis Oriental, said a team of policemen, soldiers and local government officials conducted the raid at the village of Blanco in Balingasag town to enforce eight search warrants.
Oclarit said Blanco village councilors John Robert Gales and Jeric Ubalde served as witnesses in the operation.
He said authorities seized several firearms that included three homemade shotguns, two .38 caliber pistols and various magazine clips and ammunition.
Also seized were printed materials that police described as “subversive documents.”
The raid led to the arrest of Pilutong Langka, Pablita Hilogon, Reynaldo Ayuma, Dandi Hilogon, Bambi Hilogon, Padod Ayuma, and Glenn Hilogon, said Oclarit. The men belonged to the Higaonon tribe.
Two persons, who were named in the warrants, Junrey Boy Hilogon and Berni Gandinao, were not around during the raid.
Citing information fed to the CIDG, Oclarit said Langka is believed to be a New People’s Army fighter who goes by the nom de guerre Ka Rex.
Oclarit said police were tipped about the presence of an armed group at Blanco village which they validated with the help of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion.
Oclarit added that some of those arrested were with the group of evacuees who camped out at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol grounds in 2018 until their tents were demolished in 2019.
The evacuees claimed then that they sought shelter at the provincial government compound to avoid getting caught in the crossfire between government forces and communist rebels.
During the encampment, Junrey Boy Hilogon, whom authorities were hunting, used to give statements to media.
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