An alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was apprehended in a military checkpoint in Purok 11, Barangay Poblacion, Mawab, Compostela Valley on Sunday.
1Lt. Jhocell Asis, the civil-military operations officer of 71st Infantry Battalion, identified the suspect as Rutchel O. Dator, a reported Militia ng Bayan member under the NPA’s Guerilla Front 34.
Lt. Col. Esteveyn E. Ducusin, the commander of the 71st Infantry Battalion, said that Sgt. Marcelo T. Pacat, Jr., who led the team that mounted the checkpoint, observed that Dator was reportedly acting suspiciously. They accosted the suspect and found one .357 Magnum revolver and a knife from his possession.
The items were turned over to the Mawab Municipal Police Station as supporting evidence for the filing of the case against Dator.
“It was recalled that during last year’s Araw ng Mawab, we lost the lives of our two soldiers while securing the town’s celebration because of the treacherous and inhumane acts of the (NPAs),” Ducusin said.
He said the arrest of the suspect could have waylaid the plan of the NPA to disrupt the 59th Araw ng Mawab and 8th Pagsandugan Festival last Aug. 10 to 14, as well as the celebration of its town fiesta yesterday.
“We are very glad that this year’s celebration ended with no untoward incidents,” the battalion commander said.