By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — A high-ranking official of communist rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) was nabbed by troops of the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (15 IB) in Ilog town, Negros Occidental province.
Lieutenant Colonel Protacio Tomales, 15 IB commander, identified the NPA official as Bobby Pedro, communications director and liaison officer of the NPA’s Armando Sumayang Jr. Command.
With aliases of “Reymark Labrador” and “Recoy” Pedro is also said to be the collector of money extorted by the NPA in Southwest Negros.
Pedro was nabbed over the weekend after going to the house of Noe Castillo in Pinggot village, where he was seen carrying a firearm.
Seized from Pedro were a 9mm pistol with two magazines loaded with 37 ammunition, six rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, a mobile phone, cash, acupuncture needles, and subversive documents.
Tomalos said the arrest of Pedro was a result of tips given by the people, who reported to authorities that the NPA has been relentless in extorting money in the area.
Meanwhile, Pedro is facing charges of illegal possession of firearms. Charges were filed before the Negros Occidental Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Bacolod City.