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PIA Press Release

Army captures leader of NPA raiders in Carmen

Butuan City (20 February) -- Joint elements of the Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAA) of Golf Company of 23rd IB under the 30 IB of the Philippine Army and the 1401st Police Provincial Mobile Group of Agusan del Norte under Sgt Dominador Cajutol encountered armed Communist Terrorists (CTs) at Sitio Calugmaan, Barangay Camagong, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte on February 16, 2008 at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon leading in the wounding and arrest of the notorious Rolando Barangan, also known as Ka "BENZAR", the CO of SDG "Abmor" of Front Committee 4A and Minjamin Manili Fuentes alias Amor.

Among the recovered items from them were one Para Ordnance cal 45 pistol with two loaded magazines and ammunitions, a hand grenade, a sketch of the Nasipit Power Barge in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and other CT paraphernalia.

The government troops were then checking a report on the presence of armed men as relayed to them by a residents near the power barge when they were fired upon by the terrorists. Earlier, the AFP and PNP units had placed Nasipit under close watch because of persistent reports that it will be attacked by the NPA.

According to Lt. Col. Cristobal Zaragoza, CO 30IB, the communist terrorists were casing the power barge when they encountered the government troops operating in the area as evidenced by the sketch recovered from the captives. This was confirmed by Ka "BENZAR" and Ka "AMOR" when they were confronted by SUPT Benzon Leleng and LTC Zaragoza themselves.

Ka "BENZAR" has several warrants of arrest filed against him for cases that include murder (Criminal Case No. 12226 without bail) and robbery with violence and intimidation (Criminal Case No. 12852 with P100,000 bail recommended). Additional charges are still being filed against the group of BENZAR who were responsible in the raid of Carmen Municipal Police Station on January 23, 2009 where they killed SPO4 Arsenio Aboc and ransacked the Police Station; the San Roque Mining Corporation in Tubay on Dec 22 2008, and the Site Project Management Office of DENR at Sitio Tabon, Aclan, Nasipit on Jan 14, 2009. He is also among those charged for the shooting of Norberto Durano in Nasipit on December 14, 2008.

Meanwhile, P/Chief Supt Jaime Eloreta Milla, Regional Director of Caraga Police and Major General Ricardo David, AFP of the 4th Infantry Division commended both the military and the police for a job well done and for observing the human rights of the captured NPAs. They said that the gesture of bringing the notorious wounded NPA to a government hospital for treatment bespeaks of the human rights consciousness among uniformed personnel. They also lauded the troops for the set-back caused to the NPA movement by this arrest of the notorious NPA leader.

On the other hand, several local and community leaders in the municipalities of Carmen, Buenavista and Nasipit of Agusan del Norte have sent their congratulatory message to the operating units and express their gratitude for freeing them from the intimidation of KA BENZAR'S NPA group. The AFP and PNP likewise thanked the informants for the information leading in the arrest of KA BENZAR. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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