Couple in cab attack nabbed for being rebels
CAMP VICENTE LIM—A couple, initially arrested for attacking a taxi driver in Cabuyao, Laguna, were found to be members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Bicol, the military said Friday.
Col. Generoso Bolina, spokesperson of the Army’s Southern Luzon Command, identified the arrested suspects as Daniel Frias from Naga City and his partner Alicia Cenon from Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Frias is known by his alias Henry Aguenza and is allegedly “front secretary” of an NPA command in Catanduanes. Cenon is allegedly also an NPA leader in the Bicol region.
Bolina said Frias and Cenon were arrested in Barangay San Isidro in Cabuyao on Tuesday noon after a taxi driver complained of being attacked by the suspects.
According to an Army report, the couple hired taxi driver Roger Salvoro from Cubao, Quezon City, to drive them to Naga City.
Upon reaching South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) in the vicinity of Sta. Rosa City, the vehicle, however, encountered mechanical problem.
The suspects ordered the driver to return to Quezon City. But when the driver was about to maneuver at the Cabuyao exit, Frias drew out a knife and Cenon allegedly tried to strangle the driver with his seat belt. The two forced the cab driver to head for Cabuyao.
When they reached Cabuyao, the driver spotted traffic enforcers on the highway and immediately sought help. The enforcers called police, leading to the couple’s arrest.
“The driver actually thought he was being held-up,” Bolina said.
He said the couple was initially detained at the Cabuyao police station for robbery when members of the militant human rights group, Karapatan, came the following day, inquiring about the arrest.
“This gave us an idea that they could be NPA members so we ran a background check,” Bolina said.
Police recovered from the suspects two flash drives, 10 mobile phones and a laptop. The laptop contained “confidential CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) information,” Bolina said.
He said two former rebels also confirmed the identity of Frias, who is the subject of arrest warrants for two murder cases issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 in Virac, Catanduanes. With a report from Delfin Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon
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