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NPA members caught moving weapons to Davao

Four communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were arrested by the military while boarding weapons and explosives to a Red Kia Bongo for transport to Lupon City in Davao Oriental on August 10.

A report from the Philippine Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10th ID) named the rebels as Jerome Jaquin Apyag alias Santilmong Bakang from Compostella Valley, Jerman Andres alias Has from Davao del Sur, Reymark Cabilan alias Bolantoy from Mati City, and Eking Artchie alias Bunso from Davao Oriental.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th ID, said the arrested members are under Section Committee 18 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Command.

Batchar said a community in Mati City reported the suspicious activity in the area. He said rebels  tried to escape but was immediately surrounded by the military who were positioned along the highway in San Isidro town at around 11:45 pm.

NPA Flag. Photo by the Philippine News Agency

“This is a manifestation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines commitment to enforce our laws,”  he said.

Batchar also reported that not a single gunshot was fired during the pursuit and the 4 arrested claimed they were on their way to a rally in Davao City.

He said Reymark Cabilan,  16 and one of the arrested NPAs,  proved that the communist group was recruiting minors which is a violation of the international humanitarian law.

In April, two minor members of the NPA surrendered in Davao del Norte. The Army reported that they were recruited to work in a “legal” front office of the NPA but ended up on the frontline.

Batchar warned people who join anti-government rallies of NPA members against invoking violence.

On the arrest, the army confiscated four M16 rifles, 98 various ammunitions, a grenade launcher, an improvised explosive device, 11 handheld radios, a digital camera, 3 cellular phones, 3 hammocks, 4 backpacks, 2 bandoleers, 2 combat boots, medical paraphernalia and medicines, subversive documents with high intelligence value, and cash worth P1926.

The rebels were placed under the custody of San Isidro police for questioning and filing of the case for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.