Santiago Salas, NDF spokesperson earlier denied any PTC fees being collected by the CPP-NPA-NDF
CATBALOGAN CITY – Combined elements of 87th Infantry Battalion, 801st Infantry Brigade, and the Municipal Police Station of San Sebastian, Samar arrested late last week a top New People’s Army (NPA) commander, holed up in a secluded safe house at Barangay Dolores, San Sebastian, Samar, a senior military official said.
In a belated statement, Captain Amado Gutierrez, officer-in-charge of the 8th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) said Renato Abadiano alias “Ka Tiboy” who handles various top positions in the NPA’s Samar Provincial Party Committee, was cornered by the government forces after his presence was tipped off by the residents.
Gutierrez said the NPA commander was reported to be waiting for the arrival of the Permit To Campaign (PTC) and Permit To Win (PTW) fees and other extorted items from political candidates seeking elective positions this coming May 13 elections, when he was arrested by joint elements of the Army and PNP.
Seized from the NPA leader was a caliber .45 pistol, improvised explosive devices, blasting caps, subversive documents, personal belongings and campaign paraphernalia for the NPA-supported election candidates.
Upon verification, Abadiano was found out to be having a standing Warrant Of Arrest (WOA) issued by Judge Janet Cabalona docketed as Criminal Case Number 2012-1862 for Murder with no bail recommended and another Warrant Of Arrest issued by Judge Yolanda Dagandan of Calbiga, Samar Regional Trial Court (RTC) docketed as Criminal Case Number 2010-1779 for attempted murder with the use of an unlicensed firearm.
Local residents told authorities that the arrested NPA leader is responsible for the collection of PTC and PTW fees since the start of campaign period.
The residents in the area also revealed that the group of Ka Tiboy is the same group who were responsible in shooting the tires & fuel tanks of heavy equipment of a construction company in Barangay Pabanog, Paranas, Samar on April 25, 2013 when the owner refused to give in to the extortion scheme of the rebels.
Upon arrest, Abadiano was immediately brought to Camp Lukban Station Hospital for medical check up and found to be in good physical condition.
“Our series of accomplishments in thwarting extortion activities of the NPA is a product of our good rapport with the people much more so with the local candidates who are no longer willing to support the extortion scheme of the NPAs,” Capt. Gutierrez said.
“With the people’s help, we conducted a successful operation against the NPA in Samar and lessened their capability to either fund criminal activities or harass local candidates thru extortion,” Gutierrez added.
Major General Gerardo Layug, Commanding General of 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army lauded his troops for a job well done in arresting a top NPA leader who was responsible in extorting money from politicians in the Province of Samar.
“This is the third time that the 8th Infantry Division was able to spoil the extortion scheme of the NPAs. This only goes to show that since the reports came from the civilians themselves, they are already tired in giving logistical support to the NPAs.
The NPAs have already resorted to sheer banditry in harassing and intimidating the peace-loving people of the whole island of Samar. The Samarnons long for true peace and development, and that is exactly what the 8th Infantry Division will give to the people.” Major General Layug added.