Major Ryan Lacuesta, commander of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3, inspects the items seized from the three NPA rebels. (Photo by Philippine Marine Corps)

Troops from the Philippine Marines apprehended three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) last week in Sitio Karatong, Barangay Tinitian in Roxas town, including two minors, one of them a pregnant 14-year-old.

A statement released by the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) said they were apprehended while their troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) under Maj. Ryan Lacuesta was conducting focused military operations (FMO) in Tinitian on October 13.

According to the Marines, their capture was more of rescue since two were minors, a 16-year-old and her sibling who is pregnant.

The three apprehended NPA members, two of them are females who are minors. (Photo by Philippine Marine Corps)

An M14 rifle, an improvised shotgun, anti-personnel mine components, communication devices, various ammo, and subversive materials with “high intelligence value” were among the items seized from the three rebels.

Prior to their capture, the Marines alleged that their troops in Palawan had received information from locals that a group of rebels had been recruiting and extorting money.

Government troops, who are constantly conducting Community Support Programs (CSPs) in the northern part of Palawan under the operational authority of the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde), immediately searched the area and took action in response to the community’s concern.

“My troops sighted numerous huts and they tactically moved towards their direction, the apprehended personalities were sleeping soundly and our Marines surprise them without firing a single shot,” the statement quoted Col. Jimmy Larida, commander of the 3MBde, in saying.

“Ipinapaabot ko ang aking pasasalamat sa komunidad dahil napakaagap ng kanilang pagbibigay ng impormasyon sa atin. Lagi naming sinasabi sa kanila na ang laban natin sa teroristang NPA ay hindi lamang laban ng militar at ng nasa gobyerno kundi laban din nila. Alam kong hirap na rin sila sa panghihingi at pananakot ng NPA kaya’t ituro [na] lamang nila at kami na ang gagawa ng paraang hulihin sila,” he added.

Larida further said they are thankful that no encounter transpired because they were able to save the two minors.

“Nakakagulat pa dahil ang isa sa dalawang menor-de-edad na ito ay buntis. Dito makikita natin na walang respeto ang NPA. Dito makikita natin na hindi lamang ang kinabukasan ng bata ang sinira nila kundi ang dignidad nito,” he said.