6 alleged NPA rebels nabbed in Cagayan Valley

Raymon DullanaRaymon Dullana is The Northern Forum's new editor in chief. He also works as correspondent for Rappler.com.

Cagayan Valley

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Six alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Cagayan Valley fell into hands of authorities over the past week.

On Sunday evening, February 18, five suspected communist rebels were arrested by joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP)-Isabela, regional police commander Chief Superintendent Jose Mario Espino said in a press briefing on Monday, February 19.

Espino identified one of the suspects, Mauricio Sagun, 65, as a training specialist for the explosive team of the Southern Front of NPA- Cagayan.

Sagun had three pending warrants of arrest for murder issued by the Regional Trial Court in Ilagan City, Isabela.

Sagun was with four other alleged NPA rebels when arrested a residence in Barangay San Antonio in Ilagan City, namely: Mario Turqueza, 65, Ariel Peñaflor, 48, Bernard Peñaflor, 21, and Maximiñano Domingo, 44, all residents of San Mariano town in Isabela.

Espino said a Pietro Berreta gun recovered from Sagun was held from a policeman during checkpoint in San Mariano in 2010. The police allegedly responded to a Globe telecom site bombing when apprehended by two armed rebels.

Other items recovered from the suspects were .38 caliber, 20 live ammunition, three hand grenades, two blasting cups, one detonating cord, one sling bag, one 9mm holster, two bagpacks, and other personal things owned by the suspects.

Meanwhile, a high-profile bomber of the communist rebels was also arrested on February 15 in Maddela town in Quirino province.

Espino said the suspect, identified as Kevin Nilo, 27, was found with different types of explosives, .45 caliber gun, materials in making explosives, and two magazines with live ammunition.

The rebel allegedly trained in Mindanao, making him one of the top dangerous in NPA list of the province.

Progressive groups based in the region, however, branded the arrest of Nilo as illegal, saying the suspect was only a farmer. Northernforum.net