By Mike Crismundo
A couple was arrested by government security forces for allegedly recruiting minors into the communist movement at Purok 7, Barangay Mahayahay, in Kitcharao town, Agusan del Norte province.
This was revealed by 1st Lt. Tere Ingente, Public Affairs Officer (PAO) of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) said.
In a statement sent to the Manila Bulletin early yesterday evening, Ingente, identified the arrested suspects as Allan M. Apolinaria, 49, and his wife Luzminda S. Apolinaria, 45, both alleged party branch member of Sangay ng Partido sa Platun16-A (SPP 16A) of Guerilla Front Committee 16 (GF16) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) Northern Mindanao Regional Committee (NMRC).
The 4th ID PAO officer said the suspects were arrested at 10:35 a.m. yesterday by virtue of an arrest warrant dated January 31, 2018, on Criminal Case No. CR-17-161 to CR -17-163 (Violation of Sec. 4k (1) of Republic Act 9208 issued by 10th Judicial Region Branch 34, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte, without bail bond.
The couple did not resist arrest when joint forces of Philippine National Police (PNP) 13th Regional Mobile Forces Battalion ( 13th RMFB13) and Army’s 29th Infantry (Matatag) Battalion (29th IB) implemented the arrest warrant, it said.
“The couple is the alleged recruiters of former rebels Glenie Omahas also known as Dave, Garry Alimboyong aka John and Rudy Alimboyong aka Bunso who surrendered in December 2016,” claimed Ingente in a statement.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Glen Aynera, commanding officer of the 29th IB, also claimed that the couple was allegedly recruiting minors since 2014.
“The former rebels were recruited at a minor age. In fact, Omahas was only 16 years old and Garry Alimboyong was 15 years old when he became a member of Militia ng Bayan (MB) sometime in 2014 and was 17 when he joined the NPA as regular member. This showed that NPAs are not only terrorists but also child exploiters,” alleged Aynera in a statement also sent to the Manila Bulletin on early yesterday evening.
Two of the former rebels filed a case that became a basis for the apprehension with Criminal Case # CR-17-161 to CR-17-163, for violation of RA No. 9208 as amended by RA 10364, also known as Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 and Violation of RA7610, Anti-Child Abuse Law, claimed the 29th IB commander.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division today urged parents to closely guard their respective children so will not be deceived by the “wrong promises of the Godless communist movement.”
“I urge parents to safeguard their children especially now that summertime is approaching. CPP-NPA terrorists will step up its youth recruitment in far-flung areas and in cities. During this period, students recruited from universities are most likely to be exposed to the life of an NPA terrorist in the countryside. Do not let your children be a victim of the terroristic ideology of Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples’ Army,” the 4th ID commander said.
Series of apprehensions were made possible with the joint efforts of PNP and the Philippine Army in Caraga Region that proves that both security forces wanted a common goal of a lasting peace, he added.
“Joint operations of PNP and the Philippine Army have been very effective in our area. This is the reason for a smooth filing of cases toward the perpetrators that are always served in accordance with the law,” also said Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commanding general of the Army’s 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade based here.
The apprehended couple is currently at Kitcharao Municipal Police Station (MPS) and will be transported to Agusan Del Norte Police Provincial Office for proper disposition, Ingente added.