3 ‘NPA’ members nabbed for burning 2 Philex Mines trucks

>> Saturday, February 18, 2017

 TUBA, Benguet -- Suspected members of the New People’s Army allegedly responsible for the burning of two Volvo trucks of Philex Mining Corp. around 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Sitio Tapak Ampucao, Tuba, Benguet are now in custody of Benguet Police Provincial Office.
 Benguet police filed cases of arson, robbery and illegal possession of ammunition against Sarah Abellon, Promencio Cortez (also known as Antonio Cabalse) and Marciano Passon Sagun.
They were arrested in a checkpoint around 8:25 a.m. Thursday during hot pursuit operation when they were caught at Tiptop, Gibraltar, Baguio City where the transient house they rented was also located, said regional police information officer Chief Insp. Carolina Lacuata
Based on intelligence reports of Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, Abellon is secretary of the Sub-Regional Military Area Command of the New People’s Army while Cortez who carries a P4.8 million peso reward for his arrest are high-ranking officials of the communist group.
A police report said prior to burning  incident, suspects were planning to raid the mining firm and cart away firearms of security agency in the area.
The report said the NPA raid was preempted by operatives of Police Regional Office Cordillera and the 5O3rd Brigade Philippine Army.
Realizing that their plans can no longer materialize, the report said arrested suspects, who were part of the NPA group contended with burning the two Volvo trucks.
Operatives of the PNP and AFP are still in pursuit of the main body of insurgents who escaped by splitting up and going different directions in Tuba and Itogon towns.
Other sources said a firefight between insurgents and police reportedly ensued Thursday at km 4, Tuba, along Kennon Road.  
This, as Baguio police searched the transient house rented by the suspects and confiscated personal belongings, several gadgets, assorted ammunitions and P 850,000 believed to be revolutionary tax collection used as operational fund of the NPA.
Police placed nearby Baguio City and parts of Benguet on red alert as manhunt for their cohorts was intensified.   
A police report said the suspects, who were aboard two getaway vehicles were intercepted at the Tiptop checkpoint after police were tipped off that these – an Isuzu DMAX with plate number ZRH 321 and a Blue Innova with conduction sticker VJ 3573.
They were reportedly seen by witnesses at crime site when the trucks were burned.
Senior Supt. Angelito A. Casimiro, police deputy regional director for operations earlier said five members of alleged armed NPA guerillas with long firearms including one amazon burned said trucks.
This, as militant groups in Baguio held a rally Friday at Malcolm Square, Baguio calling for the release of Abellon saying she was a board director of the RDC-Kaduami, a nongovernment organization. 
At press time, heavy presence of policemen checking vehicles along roads, was noted in Baguio and Kennon Road where three still unidentified gagged women were found dead Wednesday, their hands tied.

This, as regional police director Chief Supt Elmo Francis Sarona urged the public not to believe unverified and unfounded information circulating in the social media about the series of incidents related to the incidents. 


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