NPA leader, spokesman nabbed in Sarangani

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Oct) – A law-enforcement interagency task force composed of the military and the police arrested a ranking leader and the alleged spokesman of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao and two of their companions in Sarangani province Thursday, the military said.

Nicanor Pason aka Kumander Costan (left) and his three companions. Photo courtesy of EastMinCom

The arrest of Nicanor Pason, also known as Kumander Costan allegedly operating in Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sulan Kudarat, came hours before police in Butuan City arrested 68-year-old peasant leader Virgilio Torralba Lincuna, whom they accused to be the head of the NPA’s urban unit in the area.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command, said Pason was wounded when he tried to resist arrest by lobbing a grenade at the arresting team.

Also arrested with Costan was Bernard Prespetero, NPA spokesperson of the Far South Mindanao Regional Committee, Balagtey said.

With the two NPA leaders during the raid in Barangay Kalaong in the municipality of Maitum were Josephine Carvajal Sumagaysay and Reynaldo Beringel Loyola, reportedly couriers for the rebel group.

Balagtey said Pason was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest for murder issued by Regional Trial Court 11, Branch 38 in Alabel, Sarangani.

He said while the Army and police team made the arrest, Pason allegedly tried to throw a grenade, prompting the law enforcement team to fire and neutralize him.

Balagtey said the soldiers brought the wounded Pason to a hospital in Maitum town for treatment while his three companions were brought to the PNP station for legal proceedings. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)