Three detained NPAs charged with arson for bus burnings

Mindanao Armed Conflict  • Fri Aug 4, 2017 10:22 PM  •  46   0
By John Unson
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One of the NPAs victims of attackes, passenger buse plying major routes in Region 12. (PNP-12 PHOTO)
One of the NPAs victims of attackes, passenger buse plying major routes in Region 12. (PNP-12 PHOTO)
SARANGANI --- Authorities have filed arson charges against three suspects in recent burning of buses whose owners refused to pay the New People’s Army protection money on periodic basis.

Supt. Romeo Galgo, Jr., spokesman of the Police Regional Office-12, said on Friday that Jojo Calis Bulahing, Bandrang Yasmin and Damo Raymund are now detained, awaiting prosecution.

The three of them belong to the NPA’s self-styled Guerilla Front 73.

They were arrested on July 30 by personnel of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Kablacan in Maasim town in Sarangani, acting on tips from local officials.

Bulahing, an NPA commander, is long wanted for heinous offenses, including robbery, murders and frustrated murders.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Leander of the 27th IB said they are thankful to vigilant residents in Barangay Kablacan for helping locate the hideout there of the three NPAs.

The rebels immediately confessed to their participation in the burning of more than a dozen buses plying the highways in Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces in attacks that started last year.

The policemen and soldiers who raided their hideout recovered fragmentation grenades, a .45 caliber pistol and lists of construction firms they were to ask money from.

Bulahing had told investigators during interrogation that their planned attacks were put on hold after Mindanao was placed under martial by President Rodrigo Duterte in connection with the trouble in Marawi City.

He said his group was restrained from moving around to carry out arson attacks by the heavy presence of soldiers and policemen along highways where they had burned buses in the past.

A cargo truck of Paglas Corporation loaded with banana for export was set ablaze by NPAs in Makilala, North Cotabato. (Photo from PRO-12)
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