Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NPA supply officer nabbed in Davao Oro

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 15, 2020): NPA supply officer nabbed in Davao Oro (By Che Palicte)

Google map of Mabini town, Davao de Oro.

Government troops arrested a supply officer of the communist New People's Army (NPA) in the Davao de Oro town of Mabini on Monday morning, an official said Wednesday.

2Lt. Kim Carlos, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB), identified the arrested rebel as Samuel Elemino Jr., supply officer of the NPA's "weakened" Guerrilla Front 2 operating in the Davao de Oro towns of Mawab, Maco, Mabini, and Pantukan.

Carlos attributed Elemino's arrest in Barangay Cadunan, Mabini, to the heightened enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“Prior to his (Elemino) apprehension, the tribesmen in the area already reported to us their presence in their ancestral domain,” Carlos told Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

According to Carlos, the AFP and PNP recently formed a Covid-19 joint defense patrol following reports from civilians that the NPA continued to terrorize locals in the hinterlands, often extorting money and vital food supplies from residents.

For instance, he recalled that villagers in Mabini and Pantukan towns complained of the rebels' presence, forcing them to abandon their crops and seeking refuge in other areas.

Carlos said Elemino has standing warrants of arrest for robbery with homicide and multiple attempted murders issued in 2018 by a regional court in Nabunturan, Davao de Oro. No bail has been recommended for his temporary liberty.

According to Carlos, Elemino was also involved in the armed encounter with Army’s 46IB in 2018 and with 71IB in April 2019, in Mabini.

Lt. Col. Sonny Gonzales, 71IB commander, vowed the Army will "thwart evil plans of the CNTs (communist NPA terrorists)" that would disrupt the government's effort to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of this posting, Elemino is in the custody of the PNP while the 71IB said they are trying to find ways to provide financial assistance to the rebel's family.

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