6 NPA rebels nabbed, high-powered guns seized

By Harley F. Palangchao

BAGUIO -- Six suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels allegedly involved in the burning of the Sta. Lucia police station in Ilocos Sur last month were arrested Wednesday morning in Barangay Bulalacao, Mankayan, Benguet.

Supt. Charlo Collado, chief of the Police Regional Office intelligence and investigation division in the Cordillera, named the arrested rebels as Estella Gallieto, Lucena Tilag, Denver Simon, Rosalyn Gunchan, Robert Navarrette and James Gallieto.

Collado the police and military authorities also seized four high-powered firearms from the rebels, who reportedly did not resist arrest.

"Their arrest was a result of a long-time surveillance, both by the police and military, after reports reaching PRO-CAR revealed that NPA rebels were targeting Mankayan as an expansion area," Collado said.

Mankayan, which is a six-hour drive from Baguio City, plays host to the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation, the country's biggest gold producer.

The police officer said criminal charges for violation of illegal possession of firearms were already filed against the suspected rebels, who are now detained at the Buguias municipal police station.

Collado claimed both the police and military suspect that the arrested rebels were involved in the burning of the Sta. Lucia municipal police station in September.

Two policemen were killed and five others were seriously wounded during the attack, when around 30 rebels swooped down on the police station.

The slain policemen were named as Senior Police Officers 2 Ricardo Isidro Sr., 45, of Damacwag, Sta. Lucia, and Simeon Aquino Jr. of Lapaz, Abra.

Sources who requested anonymity said the attackers belonged to the NPA Hukbong Mapagpalaya Command in the Ilocos and the Cordillera under a certain Ka Alfredo Cesar.

Cesar is also the principal suspect in the killing of Sta. Lucia Mayor Teodoro Hernaez during the 2001 elections. Sun.Star Baguio

24/10/2003

Bron : Sun Star

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