NDF consultant Gamara, priest arrested in Cavite
MANILA, Philippines – National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Renante Gamara has been arrested along with what the police described as "retired priest" Arturo Joseph Balagat on Wednesday, March 20 in Imus City, Cavite.
According to a police report, cops served a search warrant in Gamara's "safehouse," leading to the alleged seizure of two hand grenades and a pistol. The police said they also found several electronic devices and documents containing "subversive information."
Gamara was first arrested in 2012 in Las Piñas City over the kidnapping and murder of soldier Eriberto Eclavea in Mauban town, Quezon. Another arrest warrant was served against him at the time for frustrated murder charges concerning a rebel returnee.
He was among the NDF consultants released for the peace talks between the Duterte administration and communist insurgents. Police believe he has since become a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. (READ: The end of the affair? Duterte's romance with the Reds)
Balagat, meanwhile, is described as a former priest who was ordained in Imus in 1975 and later migrated to the California in 1992. He became a parish priest in the state up until his "early retirement" in 2013.
Police said Gamara is set to face illegal firearms possession charges, while Balagat will be detained with Metro Manila special operations unit operatives "for further investigation." – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.