Army nabs 4 alleged communist rebels in Masbate
ALBAY, Philippines – The Philippine Army nabbed 4 alleged communist rebels after an armed encounter in the town of San Fernando in Masbate on Saturday, May 12, local police reported.
The clashes erupted in Barangay Talisay while the troops were on patrol for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections. The encounter lasted for about 5 minutes, said police regional spokesperson Maria Luisa Calubaquib.
The alleged communist rebels were all identified as residents of Masbate:
- Joseph Asuela, 49, resident of Barangay Progreso, San Fernando, Masbate
- Ricky Fernandes, 46, resident of Barangay Sowa, San Fernando, Masbate
- Tirso Cantre, resident of Barangay Progreso, San Fernando, Masbate (wounded)
- Abel Altarejos, 32, resident of Barangay Buenavista, San Fernando, Masbate (wounded)
The wounded suspects were brought to a provincial hospital for medical treatment while the two others were turned over to the police.
The police spokesperson said 4 pistols, 5 mobile phones, and cash amounting to P85,220 ($1,620) were confiscated from them.
This island province in the Bicol region is usually declared an election hotspot due to intense political rivalries, the proliferation of firearms, and the presence of political armed groups such as the communist New People's Army. – Rappler.com
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