The capture of young rebels and recovery of documents in Northern Samar confirmed the recruitment of students and extortion activities of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the poverty-stricken province.
The revelations of Rey Christian Sabado, Anton Mañoso, and Edwin Piczon after their capture prove that the reports about the activities of the communist terrorist group are true, the Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion (IB) said in a statement issued Sunday.
The operating troops were conducting security patrol to verify the reported extortion activities by the NPA in the upland villages of Quirino, San Miguel and San Francisco in Las Navas, Northern Samar last Oct. 3 when they apprehended the three rebels carrying firearms, explosives, and subversive documents.
“The subversive documents recovered from arrested NPA members contain information that links the terrorist group with a repressive organization like Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas-Karapatan. It also contains a list of business establishments as their target of extortion activities,” the statement said.
Sabado told soldiers that he was a college student of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila, but failed to earn a degree as he was recruited by the Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan (Samasa) in PUP in 2016. The group convinced him to become a full-time NPA fighter.
“Per his own admission, he participated in the attack of Geparayan Detachment in Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar last March 2017. He was sent by the Communist Party of the Philippines from Manila to help the propagation of White Area operations in Northern Samar,” the 20th IB said.
The military unit issued the statement after militant group Karapatan claimed in its social media post that the captured rebels were tortured by soldiers. The 20th IB also posted the latest medical certificates and photos of the three NPA members to prove that they have no injuries.
“We assure the family, relatives and the general public that Sabado and his company are now in the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and are treated humanely in accordance with the rule of law,” the Army stated.
The 20th IB also posted a short video message of Sabado telling his family not to worry since the soldiers and policemen are treating them fairly.
The Philippine Army is urging the youth to become responsible citizens and not be deceived by the communist ideology in order to not experience the same consequences suffered by Sabado.
“The public should readily dismiss these social media postings of the terrorist-front organizations, as it is treacherously aimed at deceiving the populace and discrediting the government’s peace and development efforts,” the statement read.
The military also asked the NPA-allied organizations to stop their lies and deception in the guise of propagating democratic rights and putting the lives of their recruited youth in danger. (PNA)