TWO men believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed, and 11 others were arrested in different operations conducted by the Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) 7 throughout Central Visayas on the 53rd anniversary of the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, on Monday, March 29, 2021.
One of the fatalities was identified as Alfredo Banquel, while the other has yet to be identified. They were killed after they allegedly fired at members of the Special Action Force and the intelligence unit of the Philippine National Police in Sta. Catalina town in Negros Oriental.
According to Lt. Col. Ricky Delelis, RIU 7 chief, the victims’ companions were able to escape.
“During the implementation of the search warrant, they were able to shoot first at our operating team. That’s why our men fired back to protect themselves,” Delelis said in a mix of English and Tagalog.
Meanwhile, among those arrested were several wanted personalities in the region, including Evangeline Ricana Parba, a resident of Salvador Ext. in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
Police had long been looking for Parba, who is facing a case for illegal drugs.
They also caught Vincent Gregorio Granada, a resident of Mabini, Poro in Camotes Island, Cebu, who is considered the sixth most wanted in the provincial level. He is charged with statutory rape.
Adonis Sugano, who resides on Katipunan St. in Barangay Mansasa, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, also fell during the operation. The number one most wanted in the city level is facing illegal drug charges.
Police also nabbed three members of criminal gangs.
One of them was identified as Rico Pastor of Purok Bayabas, Barangay Poblacion, Compostela, Cebu. Pastor, who is facing statutory rape charges, allegedly belongs to the Alvaro Drug Group.
The others were Edomart Espedilla, who reportedly belongs to the group of Nilo Quirante, and Arjun Degamo from San Isidro, Talisay City, Cebu, who is a member of the Joel Paca criminal gang.
Espedilla is facing a case for sexual assault, while Degamo had a warrant for his arrest for illegal drugs.
Delelis said they are still looking for other wanted persons, who will be the target of their operations in the coming weeks.
He said it took them more than a week to determine the whereabouts of these suspects. (AYB / PJB)