CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Oct) – Police arrested a 68-year-old leader of a nationwide farmers’ organization whom they alleged to be the head of the New People’s Army’s urban rebel unit in Butuan City noon Thursday.
Lt. Col. Christian Rafols II, PNP Caraga spokesperson, said a joint police and military team arrested Virgilio Torralba Lincuna at their office in Purok 3A, Barangay Tiniwasan at 12:30 p.m.
Rafols said the team served a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Lilibeth Ladaga of the Regional Trial Court Branch 28 in Lianga town in Surigao del Sur for three counts of frustrated murder.
He said Ladaga fixed the bail at P100,000 for each of the frustrated murder cases.
Rafols said Lincuna was also the secretary of the Regional Urban Committee (RUC) of the NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee and also the chairman of the Kilusang Mayo Uno that spearheaded mass actions in Butuan city.
“The success came after almost a month of information gathering and surveillance conducted by the joint Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) Intelligence Branch, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group together with the Philippine Army,” Rafols said in a statement.
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in Caraga Region issued an alert on its Facebook page saying that Lincuna was their secretary general and not for the KMU.
“Ka Yoyong [Lincuna] is a farmer leader since the decade of the ’80s and a council member of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas,” the KMP said in its post.
It said that the frustrated murder charges are trumped-up charges against Lincuna and the farmers he leads.
Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel Jr., Caraga police director, said Lincuna is presently detained at the police regional headquarters in Camp Raphael Rodriguez in Butuan City. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)