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Laborer arrested for posing as an NPA rebel to extort businessman

A 29-YEAR-OLD laborer was arrested in Purok 4, Barangay Nalum, Baliok, Toril District on Aug. 24 after allegedly introducing himself as a New People’s Army (NPA) member in extorting a businessman. 

Captain Hazel Tuazon, the spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), identified him as Ronald Lumigid Ibaya, married, and resident of Purok Biho, Barangay Banlag, Monkayo, Davao de Oro 

The victim, meanwhile, was a 42-year-old businessman who sought police assistance after seeing CCTV footage of the suspect placing a note on the hood of his pick-up truck. 

In the extortion letter, the suspect introduced himself as a communist rebel and threatened the victim into forking over P200,000 supposedly for medical, ammunition, and provisions.

The police immediately launched an entrapment operation, resulting in the suspect’s arrest after he received an envelope from a police undercover containing P70,000. 

Moreover confiscated from the suspect are the P70,000 cash, a black sling bag, a hand grenade, and a smartphone and charger.

For now, the suspect is in the custody of the Baliok Police Station and will be facing a charge of violating Article 294 and P.D. 1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, and Explosives).

NPA leader killed 

Meanwhile, another high-ranking NPA leader was killed while six high-powered firearms were seized after an encounter with the soldiers of the 8th Infantry battalion at Sitio Lagaslasan, Barangay Kulaman, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, on Aug. 23.

The military identified him as Christopher Tingkayan, 23, the commanding officer of the headquarters force NEO, Regional Operations Command (ROC) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

Major Francisco Garello Jr., the spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division, said Tingkayan was identified by Jimboy, his half-brother, and a former rebel who recently surrendered to 8IB. 

Garello said Tingkayan’s group was once considered the stronghold of the so-called Regional Sentro De Gravidad (RSDG) of NCMRC.

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony A. Bacus, 8IB commanding officer, disclosed that they launched an offensive after receiving information from concerned civilians about the rebel presence in the area. This resulted in an armed clash against more or less ten CPP-NPA terrorists (CNTs) on the morning of Aug. 23. 

Lt Col Bacus said the ten-minute firefight led to the death of one rebel and the seizure of two M16 rifles, two M653 Carbine rifles, two M203 grenade launchers, anti-personnel mine, various terrorist materials, medical paraphernalia, and assorted personal belongings.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Michele B Anayron Jr, commander of 403rd Brigade, said the CTG’s presence in the area is an indication that the dwindling criminal group is desperate to recruit and extort resources from the people, especially as the Barangay and Sanggunian Kabatan Election draws near.

“It is unfortunate that the CTG continues to sacrifice the lives of their members to pursue their criminal agenda. We are once again saddened by the loss of life of our fellow Filipinos. With this, we assure the people of Bukidnon that their Army will not allow criminals to continue to threaten communities and rob them of their hard-earned money. We vow to keep the peace and security in the area,” Anayron added.  

It can be noted that since the third quarter of the year, the 4ID soldiers already neutralized 21 CNTs, five of whom were killed in an encounter and 16 voluntarily surrendered. Additionally, 36 high-powered firearms and five low-powered firearms were also captured during the period. 

This accomplishment was highlighted by the neutralization of CTG’s top leader Dionesio “Muling” Micabalo, the regional secretary of NCMRC, during an encounter with 4ID troops last July 26, 2023.

In a statement, 4ID Commander Major General Jose Maria R Cuerpo II lauded the troops for the prompt action to secure the area of Malaybalay from the CTG-planned atrocities.

He said the loss of life of another CNT is a reminder of the unfortunate consequences of fighting our government while underlining the successes of 4ID as a testament to the support of the people and the sustained convergence of efforts of different agencies under the whole-of-nation approach, the game-changer in finally ending the insurgency problem.


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