NPA leader arrested in Agusan del Sur
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – A ranking New People’s Army (NPA) leader in Caraga region was arrested by joint Army and police operatives in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, the Army said Sunday.
Capt. Rodulfo Cordero, the Civil Military Officer of the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade, said Pablito Campos, 43, alias “Batik” or “Ponsoy,” the political officer of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 21A and spokesperson of the West and Northeastern Mindanao command, was collared inside his hide out in Barangay El Rio on Friday.
Cordero said Campos was with eight other rebels but he was the only one captured during the surprise raid conducted by joint operatives of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) and the Sibagat police office. The other rebels managed to escape, he added.
He said Campos was responsible for the killing of Police Officer 1 Sharmaine Cañete, who was shot dead while manning a checkpoint of Agusan del Sur Provincial Public Safety Company along the national highway in Sibagat on May 16 last year.
Cordero said the rebel leader had eight pending warrants of arrest for crimes of rebellion, frustrated murder, murder, multiple attempted murder, kidnapping and serious illegal detention issued by various Regional Trial Court branches in Lianga, Surigao del Sur; and Bayugan City.
Recovered from his possession, Cordero said, were an M4 rifle, a fully loaded long magazine, three cellular phones, a backpack containing a hand grenade, and personal belongings.
He said charges were being prepared against Campos.
Cordero said Campos was the fourth NPA rebel arrested in Agusan del Sur since January.
“We are looking forward to more apprehensions in the coming days and weeks because the Armed Forces and the police have already eyes on the leadership of NPA terrorists,” said Col. Andres Centino, commander of 401st Infantry Brigade.
“We will continue security operations in our area of responsibility in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the people. I also urged the families, relatives and neighbors of remaining NPA terrorists to encourage them to lay down their arms and live peacefully,” Lt. Col. Rhoderick Parallag, the 3rd SFB commander, said. /je
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