BUTUAN CITY – Leaders of an Indigenous Peoples (IPs) group are ready to help the government, particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to hunt down members of reported New People’s Army (NPA) liquidation squads.
This was disclosed by First Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s Third Special Forces Battalion (3rd SFBn), on Friday afternoon.
“Our IP leaders are ready to help us to stop the terroristic activities of these liquidation squads,” stressed the 3rd SFBn CMO officer, in an interview with The Manila Bulletin.
“The IP leaders of Surigao del Sur will be ready for the hunt of NPA terrorist liquidation squads. The death of our Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR), Datu Jumar S. Bucales did not scare us at all,” Punsalan said, quoting Lianga IPMR Datu Alexander Bucales.
“It only made us angrier and determined to track down NPA terrorists with the help of the AFP”.
“We already accepted that our lives as IP leaders fighting the NPA terrorists are on the line,” he said.
“As IP leaders, we are ready to become heroes for our tribe even if it cost our lives and we are in for the fight. This is a stern warning that IPs under my watch are at war with NPA terrorists whom we declared persona-non grata. They better watch out,” Bucales added.
In another development, elements of the Surigao Del Sur Provincial Police Office (SDS-PPO) and 3rd SFBn arrested an alleged member of the Depensa/Milisyang Bayan (MB), a liaison officer of SRC Southland and its Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA Sub-Regional Command Southland.
“Ka Istong”, 48, was arrested at 2:40 a.m. at his residence in Purok Camansi, Barangay Bayan, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur, on Friday, January 15, Punsalan said
The arrest of the suspect was initiated by virtue of a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms issued by the 11th Judicial Region, Regional Trial Court of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, the 3rdSFBn CMO officer said.
Confiscated during the operation were a caliber-.45 pistol with a loaded magazine, an improvised marble gun, and a short magazine for an M16 Armalite rifle, Punsalan added.
The suspect and seized items are now in the custody of the Marihatag Municipal Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.