Mindanao-based ‘NPA couple’ nabbed in Iloilo 

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

Two more New People’s Army (NPA) members operating in Mindanao were arrested in a follow-up operation in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo.

Rey Adolfo and Maricel Restituta (who go by the aliases Karil, Karel and Yas) were collared at NHA People’s Housing in Barangay Vista Alegre, Barotac Viejo around 2:58 p.m. on Sept 14, 2022.

Adolfo and Restituta are believed to be members of the CPP-NPA.

They both hail from Barangay Sangab, Maco, Davao de Oro and are members of the Regional Tax Implementing Group (RTIG) of Regional Headquarters Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (SMRC).

Restituta also works as a political instructor of the rebel group.

The duo was arrested five hours after authorities collared another suspected rebel leader, Leo Lacumbo, at Barangay San Juan, Barotac Viejo.

Lacumbo, 49, a native of Barangay Tuburan, Tulunan, North Cotabato but temporarily residing at Barangay Santiago, Barotac Viejo town, is the commanding officer of the CPP-NPA’s Regional Operational Command (ROC) and 1st Deputy Secretary of SMRC.

All three suspects are listed on the period status report (PSR), or the government’s watchlist of NPA personalities.

Joint elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Region 6 and the Regional Intelligence Division, together with the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, 301st Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry Division, IPPO 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company, Barotac Viejo Municipal Police Station, Passi City MPS, 602nd Regional Mobile Force Company, and Maco MPS, served the arrest warrants against the Adolfo.

He has four different warrants of arrest for murder in Criminal Case No. 1211-2021 dated October 13, 2021.

No bail was recommended for his temporary liberty.

He is also the subject of two arrest warrants for homicide in CC Nos. 1171-2021 and 1172-2021.

Judge Celestial Verde Aranda-Gonzales of the Regional Trial Court Branch 57 in Mabini, Davao De Oro issued the arrest warrants.

A P120,000 bail was recommended for their temporary liberty.

Adolfo was also accused of illegal discharge of a firearm under Article 254 of the Revised Penal Code docketed as CC No. 3559.

Judge Divina Tabanyag Samson of the Municipal Trial Courth in Maco, Davao De Oro issued the arrest warrant.

A P10,000 was set for his temporary liberty.

On the other hand, Restituta was arrested for possession of a fragmentation hand grenade.

Seized from Adolfo’s possession were a fragmentation hand grenade; a TIN and PhilHealth identification cards, a Redmi mobile phone, a Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle, P2,000 cash, a sling bag and an Accreditation Construction Work Pass.

Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, said they’re still investigating the reasons why these rebels opted to hide in Iloilo.

“Sabi nila nagbabakasyon lang daw,”‘he said.

Francisco said they’re not also discounting the possibility that they have established connections in the area.

“But everything is subject for investigation,” he said.