3 NPAs nabbed in Kidapawan

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – Government forces arrested on Friday three suspected communist guerillas operating in the provinces of North Cotabato and Bukidnon, a village official said.

Dionisio Wanal, chairman of Barangay San Isidro here, said elements of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion raided the house of a certain Belen Badul where the three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were taking a respite.

The Army identified the suspects as Joy Ortiz, 19, Christian John Balatero, 21, and Rudy Antiola, 57, all residents of Barangay Santo Niño, this city.

The suspects, however, denied the allegations.

Ortiz said she just visited a relative in the city to get her school credentials which she needed for a job in Tagum City. Antiola explained he was just a tenant in the area.

Authorities recovered from the area some cash, alleged subversive documents, a grenade, and an empty cartridge of a caliber .45 pistol.

Wanal hinted an informant could have tipped the Army of the presence of the rebels in Badul’s house.

He added that the arrest came two days after the police and Army conducted highway check in Barangay San Isidro.

Wanal said he would ensure the suspects would not undergo torture from their captors.

The suspects were brought to the custody of the Kidapawan City PNP for filing of appropriate charges.

The area where the arrest took place is a few kilometers away from where two roadside bombs went off two weeks ago. The NPAs owned up the explosions, police reports said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)