BY VICTOR REYES and RAYMOND AFRICA
THREE New People’s Army rebels died in a firefight with government forces in Mauban town in Quezon yesterday morning.
In Manila, three members of progressive groups were arrested in a raid on the office of the leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Tondo, Manila also yesterday.
In the Quezon incident, troops from the Army’s 1st Infantry Battalion were on combat operation around 8:40 a.m. when they clashed with about 10 communist rebels in Barangay Abu-Abu.
Maj. Marco Antonio Magisa, assistant chief of staff for civil military operations of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division based in Tanay, Rizal, said the two sides traded fire for about five minutes before the rebels withdrew.
Magisa said three of the rebels were reported killed based on intelligence information gathered by the military. Recovered at the scene of the firefight was a 9 mm pistol.
This is the fourth time soldiers clashed with NPA rebels in the town in a month’s time, said Col. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 202nd Brigade.
In the Manila operation, policemen arrested Ram Carlo Paculba Bautista, Bayan-Manila campaign director; Alma Estrada Moran, of the Manila Workers Unity Secretariat; and Reina Mae Asis Nasino, Kadamay-Manila coordinator, in the Bayan office on 672 Flora street, Barangay 184 in Tondo.
A report to Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the policemen were armed with a search warrant for illegal firearms and ammunition issued by Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court 89.
Recovered were an undocumented M16 rifle, two .45 caliber pistols, several bullets, cellphones, and laptop computers.
The three were brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group field office in Manila for booking.
Tinay Palabay, of the Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples’ Rights, condemned the raid at the Bayan office in Manila, saying the guns seized were planted by the policemen.