Alleged NPA team leader falls in Maasin raid

Herman Alliza (left) was arrested at his house in Bagangay Bolo, Maasin, Iloilo at around 5:35 a.m. of Sunday. (Photo courtesy of 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

A suspected local leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in a police search operation early morning of Nov. 10, 2019 at Maasin, Iloilo.

Herman Alliza, 55, was arrested at his house in Bagangay Bolo around 5:35 a.m. of Sunday.

Members of the 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company, together with the 601st Company, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion, and Maasin Police Station, stormed the suspect’s house by Search Warrant Numbers 19-14 and 19-15 for violation of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and R.A. 9516 or illegal possession of ammunition.

Recovered from his possession were a hand grenade, a rig belt, an ammunition holster, a handcuff pouch, a baton holster, a tear gas holster, and a book entitled “Malip-ot  nga kurso sa Katilingban kag  Rebolusyunaryong Pilipino 1 unit of Book (CAHRILL).

Judge Gemalyn Faunillo Tarol of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 31 in Iloilo City issued the search warrant on Nov. 8.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Jay Malong, 1st IPMFC commander, said Alliza was the alleged team leader of Propaganda Organizing Team (POT) but now belongs to Lambat Paniktik under Baluy Platoon of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (KRP)’s Central Front.

Lambat Paniktik is an intelligence unit of the rebel group in the area.

“By his admission that he does intelligence work for the NPA, he could have been a member for quite a while already,” Malong said.

On the side, Alliza worked as a bamboo crafts trader.

The suspect’s involvement with the NPA did not reach police attention if not for several complaints against him.

“We received reports that he was brandishing a firearm. When he’s under the influence of liquor, he was reported to be indiscriminately firing his gun,” Malong said.

But despite that, Alliza’s neighbor did not have courage to formal lodge a complaint against him.

“When we investigated, we learned of his link to the NPA,” Malong said.

It remains unclear if the suspect has anything to do with the with the Maasin Police Station raid more than two years ago.

On June 18, 2017, more than 50 NPA rebels stormed the town on a busy Sunday morning.

Brandishing their high-power forearms in the town proper, they raided the town police station and disarmed the nine on duty policemen.

They took the firearms from the police stations’ armory and the cops’ issued guns.

The rebels also did not spare the policemen’s personal belongings.

“We still have to verify that one,” Malong said.

In the meantime, Alliza is detained at Maasin Police Station lock-up cell and will be charged accordingly.