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Police nab 8 NPA rebels out to burn properties
In this Nov. 23, 2016 photo, a red ribbon is tied to a firearm of a New People's Army guerrilla at a rebel encampment tucked in the harsh wilderness of the Sierra Madre mountains. AP/Aaron Favila
SARANGANI — The eight communist rebels captured early this week in Alabel town were out to burn buses and equipment of construction companies to avenge losses in recent encounters with the military.
The eight New People's Army guerillas—Simeon Salda, 28; Jun Moda, 20; Claude Palbe, 21; Garzon Palbe, 31; Rene Ompao, 24; Sabelo Colano, 20; Nonoy Sanama and Morelo Sanama, 25—are now in the custody of the Alabel municipal police.
Municipal officials on Wednesday said they voluntarily yielded when personnel of the Army's 73rdInfantry Battalion cornered them after a brief encounter early this week in Sitio Tangis in Barangay Datal Anggas in the outskirts of Alabel town in Sarangani province.
The police will charge all eight of them with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, according to senior members of the Alabel municipal peace and order council.
The captured rebels had initially confessed to investigators that they were out to burn buses and equipment of construction firms involved in various infrastructure projects in Sarangani to avenge the NPA's heavy losses in encounters with the military in the past ten days.
Police and Army intelligence sources confirmed on Wednesday that the supposed arson attacks was also meant to pressure owners of bus companies and construction firms to shell out "protection money" on a regular basis to forestall harassments by the NPA.
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The office of Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Salarda and the 73rd IB are now extending joint relief and rehabilitation services to dozens of villagers displaced by the hostilities in Barangay Datal Anggas.
The displaced villagers have long been complaining about the excessive collection of "revolutionary taxes" by NPAs roaming in their villages.