Cops to use valuables returned by NPA raiders in Maasin as evidence
ILOILO CITY — The Police Regional Office in Western Visayas (PRO-6) plans to use the personal items that the communist rebels seized from a Maasin police station in Iloilo but returned through radio stations, as evidence in the criminal complaints the police filed against suspects.
The New People’s Army’s (NPA) Napoleon Tumagtang Command handed over on Friday, two laptop computers to two personnel of the Bombo Radyo Iloilo.
In a separate turnover on Saturday, a group of NPA rebels who introduced themselves also as members of the Napoleon Tumagtang Command, handed over to two reporters of RMN-Iloilo personal belongings and cash of Charles Paconsis.
John Talento, assistant station manager of Bombo Radyo Iloilo, said the rebels arranged a meeting at a hinterland village in Iloilo where the Samsung and HP computers were turned over to radio personnel
The rebels told Talento that they returned the computers because these were apparently owned by police personnel of Maasin based on the personal files stored in the gadgets.
They requested the reporters to facilitate the return of the computers to the owners.
Talento said they then proceeded to the headquarters of the Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) in Santa Barbara town and turned over the computers.
The computers were among the items confiscated by about 60 NPA rebels who raided the Maasin police station on June 18.
The policemen on duty were unharmed but the rebels took 15 firearms including 11 M-16 rifles and four hand guns, ammunition and radios among others.
The police earlier filed complaints of robbery in band, serious illegal detention, direct assault upon agents in authority, tumults and other disturbances of public order and for violation of the anti-carnapping law against the rebels.
The respondents included alleged ranking members of the NPA’s Southern and Central Fronts in Panay.
On Saturday, a group of NPA rebels returned the belongings and money of Paconsis through the two reporters of RMN-Iloilo.
Paconsis is the driver of van that the rebels commandeered but later abandoned in San Miguel town on June 15 or three days a before the raid.
Unidentified persons who later turned out to be rebels had arranged to hire the van driven by Paconsis.
Paconsis escaped from the rebels and reported the carnapping to the police.
Wilfredo Talaron, one of the RMN Iloilo reporters who met with about 40 rebels on Saturday, said the rebels admitted that they had intended to use the van in raiding the Maasin police station but shelved the plan after police launched pursuit operations against them.
They told Talaron and fellow reporter Ralph Mosqueda that they took the bag of Paconsis for “safekeeping.”
The rebels handed over to the RMN Iloilo personnel personal belongings including bottles of perfume and cologne, two mobile phones, an asthma inhaler, a power bank and bills and coins totaling around P693.65.
They also gave P7,000 which they said was the “rental fee” for the van.
The reporters turned over the cash and items to the San Miguel police station. SFM
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