Monday, February 17, 2014

2 NPA ‘amazons’ tagged in Batangas bus attack

From the Philippine Star (Feb 18): 2 NPA ‘amazons’ tagged in Batangas bus attack

Footage taken by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera showed two suspected female rebels as among a group of armed attackers who burned eight buses inside the terminal of the Jam Liner Inc. in Lemery town on Sunday.

A team of artists is helping drivers and conductors identify the suspects, said Senior Superintendent Omega Jireh Fidel, Batangas police director.

Fidel said based on the statements of the witnesses, two women were among the 14 rebels who entered the terminal at about 12:55 a.m.

He said the two women could also be the same persons seen in a CCTV footage of the burning of construction equipment in the town of Padre Garcia a year ago.

“We now have the identities of the two women rebels but we will not release them yet to the media so as not to jeopardize our operation,” Fidel said.

Fidel said the head of the Lemery police, Chief Inspector Arthur Divino, was relieved from his post over the incident.

Police said the rebels did not hurt any of the bus personnel, including the two security guards, Welijado Banastao and Marlon Pineda.

One of the employees told police he overheard the armed men saying they were NPA rebels and they were after the bus firm’s management, Police Officer 2 Richard Caragay said.

Reports said the bus company received an extortion letter bearing the letterhead of the NPA’s Melito Glor Command in October or November last year.

Witnesses said the armed men escaped in two vans, taking with them the security guards’ revolver and shotgun, a handheld radio, a power supply device for a desktop computer, and the cell phone of one of the guards.

Special investigation task group Jam was formed to handle the case.

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