Mon. Jun 21st, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.pna.gov.ph)

Government forces arrested on Friday afternoon an official of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Sur.

1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, civil-military operations officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn), identified the arrested rebel as Ernest Abenio Valdez, 48, allegedly the liaison officer between the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee and its assassination unit, the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU).

Punsalan said Valdez was arrested by the Army and the Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office (SDSPPO) at his residence in Barangay Bayan, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur.

According to Punsalan, Valdez is also a member of the Militia ng Bayan in the locality and brother to Felizardo Abenio Valdez, a party secretary of a sub-regional committee of the NPA.

“He was arrested at his residence by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur,” the Army official said.

Valdez is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms.

Authorities also seized a .45-caliber pistol and ammunition, an improvised marble gun, and a short magazine for an M16 rifle from Valdez.

Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, 3SFBn commander, assured the Army unit remains ” focused and steadfast” in its campaign and mission to “end NPA terrorism in Surigao del Sur.”

In a separate statement, Brig. Gen. Allan D. Hambala, commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade (401Bde), warned those protecting NPA combatants in the area.

“We are warning all those who coddle NPA terrorists, regardless of their status in life, either civilians or politicians, name it. If we find out that you go against the law by protecting NPA terrorists, we will hit you hard using all legal means as provided by law,” Hambala said. SOVEREIGNPH

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