Three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) believed by the military to be involved in the recent burning of two heavy equipment in Barangay Punang, Sofronio Española were captured on Sunday by the joint police and military operation in Barangay Maasin, Brooke’s Point.
Brig. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan, 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) commander, early Monday morning confirmed that three days prior to the incident, the Provincial Task Force-ELCAC already has the information on the rebel’s plan to “incite violence” by targeting the water system in Pulot Interior, Sofronio Española.
“Alam na natin yung target nila. Three days na natin binabantayan yung detachment and stations ng PNP at AFP. Nag-shift sila ng mas madaling target, yung mga dump truck ang sinunog nila,” Gaerlan said.
Gaerlan also claimed that the incident is a “diversion” tactic of the armed rebel group as they fail to recruit members.
“Si Dabdab, umamin na miyembro siya ng NPA. Nung nahuli sila, sine-secure nila yung forces nila sa mga outside group. Wala namang habulan na naganap kasi nagulat na sila na may mga tauhan na tayo agad doon,” Gaerlan said.
The suspected rebels were identified as Olan Dabdab, 28; Jun Pablo Garzon, 31; and Nerlito Imon, 36.
Confiscated from them were a shotgun, caliber .38 revolver, rifle grenade, and assorted ammunition.
Gaerlan said they will file charges for illegal possession of firearms (Republic Act 10591) and illegal possession of explosive devices (Republic Act 9516).