NPA leader, companions escape in Davao raid

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DAVAO CITY — A commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) and his companions managed to elude arrest after a joint police and Army team swooped down on Victorio’s Beach Resort in Talomo, this city, to implement a warrant of arrest Monday morning.

Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director, identified the NPA commander as alias Jeffrey, leader of the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Command 1 (PBC) operating in the city.

Tagum said Jeffrey has a standing warrant of arrest for two counts of murder, serious illegal detention, robbery in band and attempted murder.

Jeffrey was able to escape with an undetermined number of companions believed to be members of the NPA Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) following a brief firefight inside the resort at Purok 10, Talomo Cemento.

Tagum said the resort has not been operating for many years and left only to a caretaker, who is now in the custody of the police as a person of interest.

During the firefight, Jeffrey and his companions lobbed several fragmentation grenades and escaped towards unknown direction under the cover of darkness. There was no casualty on the government side during the encounter, police said.

After the encounter, authorities recovered an M-16 rifle A1, ammunition, explosives, NPA propaganda materials, and other evidence.

Chief Superintendent Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 director, said Jeffrey and his men were the same NPA unit that authorities engaged in Barangay Maa two months ago. They were believed to be involved in the so-called Red October plot to destabilize the government.

Morales said Jeffrey and his men managed to escape when authorities lost the “element of surprise” when the first team of police and Army personnel was attacked by a team of NPA lookouts around 1:30 a.m.

“Nawala yung element of surprise (We lost the element of surprise), so the targets escaped,” Morales said, adding the area was also dark, wide, and woody because it has long been closed by the owner.

Morales said the operation was launched following information that some suspicious men were seen in and out of the resort.

Morales said the police already launched a manhunt operation and intensified security presence in the area. -PNA 

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