NPA says military violated truce
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2012 - 2:57pm

Communist rebels on Tuesday accused the military of violating the holiday truce for allegedly arresting and torturing five civilians in San Francisco, Quezon.

Armine de Guia, spokesperson of the New People’s Army (NPA) Apolonio Mendoza Command, said members of the 74th battalion nabbed the civilians while on board a vehicle last Dec. 21.

The holiday truce between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the NPA started last Dec. 20 and will end on Jan. 15.

The military, however, denied that it violated the ceasefire, saying the arrest was a law enforcement activity. AFP Southern Luzon Command spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina said the suspects were arrested for illegal possession of firearms.

“The ceasefire does not cover law enforcement activities. We have to ensure the safety of the public,” he said.

Three of the five arrested persons, Bolina said, are NPA members, not just ordinary civilians. The two others were released since they were only hired to drive the motorcycle carrying the suspects.

Bolina said the three – identified as Dennis Quidor alias Anghel and Jabar, Rodrigo Guevarra, and Eliseo Lopez – were planning to stage attacks in the towns of San Francisco, Mulanay and San Narciso.

He said soldiers had recovered three bags, a landmine, a cal. 22, a hand grenade, two M16 rifles, a cal. 45 with ammunition, seven pieces of blasting caps, and subversive documents from the suspects.

The NPA said the civilians were subjected to interrogation and torture by soldiers who arrested them. De Guia claimed the five had wounds and bruises when they were presented to the Mulanay municipal police station.

“The action proves that the ceasefire declared by AFP is deceptive, not serious and untruthful,” the rebel spokesperson said.

“The three should be released and the military should stop torturing them,” de Guia added.

Bolina denied the suspects were tortured or harassed by security forces. 

“Every time we arrest rebels, they (NPA) would discredit the operation by accusing us of torture or by claiming that the suspects are civilians,” he said.
 

ANGHEL AND JABAR APOLONIO MENDOZA COMMAND ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BOLINA DE GUIA DENNIS QUIDOR ELISEO LOPEZ GENEROSO BOLINA GUIA MULANAY AND SAN NARCISO SAN FRANCISCO
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