AN ALLEGED communist rebel leader was killed in a police operation in the mountain barangay of Pung-ol Sibugay, Cebu City past 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020.
Police identified the fatality as Dennis Rodenas, who was also known as “Ka Jas.” He had allegedly engaged the officers serving warrants of arrest against him in a shootout that lasted around 15 minutes.
The operation to arrest Rodenas, 42, was carried out by Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) 7 operatives led by Lt. Col. Robert Lingbawan with the help of military personnel.
Rodenas was reportedly the commanding officer of the New People’s Army’s (NPA) regional operation command center in southern Mindanao, which is based in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Rodenas’ pregnant live-in partner Jerlin Mercado, 41, was also arrested.
Mercado said in a Superbalita Facebook Live interview that she was a liaison officer for the rebels. She said she quit in 2016.
Ryan Moralde and his wife Rodelyn, both 29, were also arrested for allegedly trying to disrupt the operation to arrest Rodenas.
Ryan reportedly admitted to the police that he and his wife were new NPA recruits.
Lingbawan said the Police Regional Office 7 and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Central Command had been monitoring Rodenas’ whereabouts before confirming that the alleged NPA leader was renting a house in Sitio Lower Lamacan in Pung-ol Sibugay.
Rodenas had warrants of arrest for various cases issued by a Mindanao court for two counts of murder, two cases of robbery, robbery with homicide and grave threats.
In May 2011, Rodenas was arrested in Bukidnon for illegal possession of explosive materials. Two months later, he was rescued by his NPA comrades while in transit to a court hearing, killing four jail officers in the process. (BBT / KAL)