Ops vs. 6 NPA rebels 'legitimate': CIDG

MANILA – The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Thursday maintained that the series of operations in Quezon City and Bulacan resulted in the arrest of six members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) earlier this week was "legitimate".

CIDG chief, Maj. Gen. Albert Ferro made the remark after groups Gabriela and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) alleged that the police force is attempting to link their organizations with the CPP-NPA following the recovery of several posters of their group and that of Bayan Muna party-list through the planting of evidence and peddling wrong information.

“The operations conducted by your PNP were legitimate and the police officers were armed with valid arrest warrants issued by the court. The pieces of evidence that were inadvertently found in the possession of the wanted persons were properly inventoried in the presence of barangay officials. Our personnel strictly followed the Police Operational Procedures during the operation,” Ferro said in a statement when sought for a comment.

“The PNP (Philippine National Police) neither condones planting of evidence nor does it authorize red-tagging. And the PNP has no participation in the creation of these materials. Nevertheless, the CIDG welcomes inquiries or investigations to shed light on this matter,” he added.

Ferro added that Gabriela merely wants to discredit the police officers involved in the operation and that this was not the first instance that law enforcement personnel discovered Gabriela and Bayan Muna party-list posters along with contrabands during legitimate operations.

“The PNP CIDG will not be fazed by these allegations and will continue to stand for truth and justice. The CIDG in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the community remains committed to the attainment of the NTF ELCAC’s objectives, towards the upholding of justice and democracy in the country,” said Ferro.

On Tuesday, Gil Peralta, a regular member of the CPP Central Committee member and one of the convenors of the CPP 2nd Congress, was arrested at his rented house in Barangay Maribolo, Quezon City.

Peralta was nabbed for frustrated murder and arson docketed under Criminal Case Nos. II-10853 and II-10854 issued by the Aparri, Cagayan Regional Trial Court Branch 9.

Authorities seized caliber 5.56mm Colt, caliber .9mm Armscor, two magazines, 32 pieces of ammunition, 93 inches detonating cap, an MK2 fragmentation grenade, 12 blasting caps, eight improvised boosters, a holster for pistol, and a cellular phone from Peralta.

Based on police records, Peralta is also the secretary of Komiteng Rehiyon–Cagayan Valley (KR-CV), Executive Committee member, first deputy secretary, finance officer, head of regional organizational department, and communication department of KR-CV.

Peralta was one of the brains behind the many NPA attacks in the Cagayan Valley region, including the burning of DDT Construction equipment in the town of Lal-lo, Cagayan in October 2020, and an attack on a CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) detachment in Sto. Niño, Cagayan in July 2019.

He was also implicated in the ambush and murder of the former Lasam, Cagayan councilor Marjorie April Salazar, Eduardo Asuten, John Rey Cortes and Aiza Salvador Manuel.

Former KR-CV members revealed that Peralta was involved in corruption activities within the CPP-NPA and has been using the funds that the terrorist organization generated from its extortion operations for personal gains.

In Barangay San Vicente, Santa Maria, Bulacan, Carlos said the police also arrested the five CPP-NPA-NDF members identified as Irene Agcaoili, Lourdes Bulan, Roy Dela Cruz, Arcadio Tangonan, and Natividad Santos.

Agcaoili, also known as Ayang, is the finance head of KR-CV who is wanted for murder, multiple attempted murder, and robbery and with a PHP700,000 bounty on her head while Dela Cruz is the intelligence officer of KR-CV. Bulan is an executive committee member of KR-CV who is wanted for murder and multiple attempted murder.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)

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