Mawab, Davao de Oro – Supply Officer of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) was successfully apprehended as the AFP-PNP jointly conducted active defense patrol in connection with the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) for COVID-19 in Brgy Cadunan, Mabini, Davao de Oro, Monday morning.
Former rebels who were once with him affirmed that the apprehended CNT is Samuel T Elemino Jr @SAM, resident of Sitio Bonglas, Brgy Cabuyoan, Mabini, by. Sam is a supply officer of the Weakened Guerilla Front 2 (WGF2) of the NPA which operates in the municipalities of Mawab, Maco, Mabini and Pantukan all of Davao de Oro.
Sam was apprehended by virtue of his warrants of arrest for his crimes of robbery with homicide and multiple attempted murder with case numbers 7063 and 6966 respectively all issued in 2018 by Regional Trial Court Branch 3, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley (now Davao de Oro) with no bail bond recommended.
Samuel was involved in an armed encounter with Army’s 46th Infantry Battalion (46IB) sometime in 2018 and with 71IB in April 2019 all in the municipality of Mabini, Davao de Oro.
Joint active defense patrol was launched by 71IB and Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) of the Police in relation to the strict implementation of ECQ for COVID-19 following the reports from civilians that CNTs continued to terrorize locals in the hinterlands forcing them to give and buy food and other supplies for the rebels.
Tribal members in the municipality of Maco and Mabini earlier complained that those rebels trespassed into their ancestral domains which negatively affected the livelihood of the tribesmen.
It can be recalled that last week, locals in the hinterlands of Brgy Golden Valley and Cadunan both of Mabini and barangays of Tagdangua and Tibagon of Pantukan, were so afraid of NPA rebels’ presence in their farms forcing the locals to abandon their crops and find safe refuge in the nearest purok halls. The populace already suffered from the peril brought by COVID-19 pandemic but graver peril by the CNTs’ exploitation and abuse. “We were already at the mercy of the virus but suffered even more as the hungry rebels kept asking food forcibly and ransacked others who did not gave them the favor,” locals said in their language.
The rebels’ continued terrors upon the farmers instigated the locals to report and seek the help of the 71IB which led to an armed encounter last April 7 resulting in the recovery of high powered firearms and significant amount of medical supplies and paraphernalia among others and the death of 2 high ranking members of the CNTs who fired upon the approaching troops of 71IB and RMFB. One cadaver was recovered on the day of the clash belongs to @Asthro, (Julius Aquaiatan Jr) who was recruited at a minor age of 17 and became a child warrior as medic of WGF2, one of the fronts of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) of the NPA. The other cadaver was that of @Neby (Benjamin Olvis) and was found on a cliff near the encounter site after 2 days of the incident when he was abandoned by his fellow NPA rebels despite his more than 30 years of service to the rebellion. He was barely 15 years old when he was recruited, another child warrior of the NPA who later became the chief of the regional medical bureau of SMRC. The 71IB in coordination with the local government units of Pantukan and Mabini and provincial government of Davao de Oro accorded decent burials to the deceased NPA members and extended small assistance to the bereaved families.
Lieutenant Colonel Sonny E Gonzales, Commanding Officer of 71IB, was elated as the unit successfully prevented CNTs’ hostile plans of ridiculing the effort of the government in its measures against COVID-19. “We will continue to successfully hamper evil plans of the CNTs that would malign the united effort of our fellowmen in easing out from the virus pandemic. Much more that local populace are now very active in providing us real-time information, an indication that rebels significantly lost the support of the exploited locals who were tired of being deceived by CNTs false ideology,” he added.
All barangays and tribal council of the municipality of Mawab, Mabini and Pantukan and many barangays of Maco have declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata since last year and pledged not to support them in any form.
As of this writing, Sam is at the custody of PNP. Meanwhile, 71IB lobbies whatever assistance may be extended to Sam’s family.
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