(L-R) 3rd Marine Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan, provincial government administrator Atty. Joshua Bolusa,  former police official Gabriel Lopez, the informant, and WESCOM commander Vice Adm. Rene Medina. 

The Provincial Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) on Friday handed a P50,000 reward to an informant reportedly responsible for the arrest of seven suspected New People’s Army (NPA) leaders last week.

Western Command (WESCOM) commander Vice Admiral Rene Medina, commander of 3rd Marine Brigade Brigadier General Charlton Sean Gaerlan, Palawan provincial government administrator Atty. Joshua Bolusa, former police official Gabriel Lopez, and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Palawan head Rey Maranan handed the award to the informant, whose real identity was not disclosed and whose face was covered by a bonnet when he was briefly presented in a media briefing at the Provincial Capitol.

Medina said that with the cooperation of the locals, they were able to locate and monitor the suspects until they were arrested at a checkpoint in Barangay San Jose, Puerto Princesa City midnight of October 4.

Medina also denied an earlier accusation of the human rights group Karapatan that there were irregularities in the arrest of their seven, whom they claimed to be human rights workers.

He stressed that the suspects came from Barangay Caruray in San Vicente and not from Taytay as claimed by Karapatan.

“Kwento lang nila ‘yon na galing sila ng Taytay pero gabi pa lang, bago pa sila bumiyahe ay alam ng tropa ng WESCOM kung saan sila tumutuloy, kung saan sila sa Barangay Caruray, San Vicente. Ang totoo ay sa San Vicente sila galing, isa pa, kung mapapansin ninyo ang oras ng byahe nila ay alanganin na oras, alam nila ang totoo kahit ‘yan ang sinasabi nila. Hindi kami gumagawa ng kwento and eventually ay malalaman natin kung sino talaga ang nagsasabi ng totoo,” he said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.