TWO leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) were arrested in Western Mindanao while four policemen were
wounded in separate clashes in Anitque and Nueva Ecija, police reported yesterday.
Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman Capt. Jo-Ann D. Petinglay the other day
identified those arrested as Leonardo Decena Jacotin and Rosario Delambaca Tabanao.
The rebels were arrested by elements of Joint Task Force ZamPelan and Philippine National
Police (PN) based on a warrant of arrest in their residence in Bgy. Balangasan, Pagadian City, at 9:45
Recovered from their possession were a cal. .45 pistol with eight live ammunition, 50 rounds
of ammunition for AK47, a hand grenade, 10 identification cards and 17 cellphones.
Police said Jacotin is the logistic and head of the Ordnance and Explosives unit of the
Western Min-danao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC). He is involved in large-scale extortion activities
and dealing of illegal firearms and explosives.
Tabanao is an executive commission member of the WMRPC/Regional Finance and Sub-Finance KOMMID
in Pagadian City.
She is involved in robbery and extortion, series of murder cases and dealing of illegal
firearms and explosives.
Tabanao, on the other hand, has an existing arrest warrant for the complex crime of direct
assault with murder and robbery using unlicensed firearms.
Meanwhile, in Zamboanga Sibugay, government forces recovered assorted war materiel shortly
after a combat operation in Bgys. Tigbangagan and Palinta Kabasalan.
Troops earlier received reports that the rebels were seen in the area at around 3 a.m. on
Sunday that prompted them to conduct an operation.
However, when the rebels saw the soldiers, they fled towards unknown direction and abandoned
During the clearing operation, troops recovered an M203 grenade launcher, a 7.62 mm sniper
rifle, nine rounds of 40M203 ammunition, 60 rounds of M14 ammunition, four M14 magazines, a black
bandoleer and a rifle grenade.
The recovered firearms and war materiel were brought by the troops to the 44th IB headquarters
for documentation prior its turnover to the PNP.
In Antique, fighting erupted between a group of patrolling policemen and heavily-armed NPA
guerrillas in Sibalom, early morning yesterday, resulting in injuries to two officers, a Police
Regional Office 6 report said.
PO3s Michael Alejo and Salvador Cordero were hit by bullets in the hand and arm,
respectively, and were taken by their colleagues to Sibalom District Hospital.
The PRO6 said that the two were among the 14 members of the Sibalom Municipal Police Station
led by SPO4 Ricky Encina who were on patrol in Bgys. Bulalacao, Calooy and Tulatula, when they
encountered the rebels in Bgy. Bunto at 9:10 a.m.
The ensuing gunbattle led to the wounding of the two policemen and an undetermined number of
casualties on the side of the gunmen.
In Nueva Ecija, two policemen were wounded when responding lawmen clashed with an undetermined
number of suspected communist rebels already prepositioned in the area in this mountain town yesterday
Provincial police director Senior Supt. Eliseo T. Tan-ding said the encounter occurred after
members of the Nueva Ecija Provincial Public Safety Company and the local police responded to a
shooting incident in Bgy. Putlan that was reported to authorities at 6:30 a.m. yesterday.
Tanding said the advance team of policemen was suddenly met by a volley of gunfire from the
group of rebels in the area.
This triggered a fierce firefight which left two unidentified policemen wounded. They were
rushed to the hospital.
“Dalawa po ang may tama sa tropa natin, okay na daw po naisugod na sa ospital,” Senior Insp.
Robert B. de Guzman, town police commander, told this reporter yesterday.
“Padating na ang tropa sa may boundary ng Bgys. Piut at Putlan nang pau-lanan ng bala ang
tropa ng mga taong labas na nakapuwesto sa itaas, naka-ambush position na sila at may sniper pa,” De
He said the responding lawmen were lucky to survive the ambush because they were able to
immediately take cover behind a shallow trench in the area. This latest clash between government
forces and the NPAs in Nueva Ecija came a day after President Duterte announced on Tuesday the
cancellation of peace talks with the communist rebels.