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Top NPA commander nabbed in Penablanca, Cagayan

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- A top commander of the New People’s Army unit in Cagayan province was arrested by joint forces of police and military late Thursday afternoon, May 4.

Police Chief Superintendent Eliseo Rasco, regional director of Philippine National Police (PNP), said David Soriano, the “highest ranking official” of the communist guerrilla in the region, was cornered in Barangay Camasi in Penablanca town around 5:45 pm on Thursday by the Cagayan Valley police and the 5th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Police and military intelligence revealed that Soriano, also known as “Ka Colly” is the regional secretary of Komiteng Rehiyon ng Hilagang Silangan ng Luzon of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CNN) Northern Front.

Soriano has been placed in top most wanted person for his involvement in several high-profile crimes in the region, police said.

He was one of the suspected masterminds in the ambush of police officer in Baggao town in February 2016, which killed at least six policemen.

Rasco said Soriano was also the principal suspect in the killing Gonzaga town Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr in 2014. Soriano was caught in a close-circuit television camera (CCTV) as one of those armed rebels who gunned down Pentecostes.

Soriano is now detained at Cagayan Police Provincial Office in Tuguegarao where he is undergoing investigation.

Meanwhile, in an “apparent diversionary move” by the NPA rebels, Rasco said around 30 suspected rebels attacked police sub-station in nearby Amulung town, also in Cagayan, almost simultaneously with the arrest of Soriano at around 5:45 pm.

Rasco said the armed men took away four M16 rifles and two 9mm pistols. The rebels also burned the police Mahindra patrol vehicle before escaping.

Police personnel were also reportedly “tortured.”

Rasco said he already ordered the local police units to be vigilant of attacks. Northernforum.net

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