AMIDST protests by civic groups, police have arrested three suspects in the torching of two Philex trucks.

In a release by the Police Regional Office – Cordillera, authorities said the trio are suspected members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) allegedly responsible for the burning of two Volvo trucks of Philex Mining Corporation in the morning of February 9 in Ampucao.

Cases of robbery, arson and illegal possession of ammunition against Sarah Abellon - Alikes, Promencio Cortez and Marciano Sagun are set to be filed after police arrested them during operations while inside a rented transient house along Tiptop road.

According to intelligence reports from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, Alikes is believed to be the secretary of the Sub-Regional Military Area Command (SMAC) is in charge of extortion activities of the NPA while Cortez has a P4.8 million reward on his head.

Police reveal, prior to the burning incident, the trio were planning to raid the mining firm and cart away all firearms of the security agency, had it not for the preemptive measures performed by operatives of Police Regional Office - Cordillera and the 503rd Brigade of the Philippine Army.

Authorities added after their plans can no longer materialize, the three persons arrested, who were part of the NPA group contended with just burning the two Volvo trucks rather than gaining nothing from their failed operation.

As of press time, the PNP and AFP are still in pursuit of individuals who were able to escape in the direction of Tuba and Itogon in Benguet.

Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) conducted search in the transient house rented by the suspects and were able to recover personal belongings, several gadgets, assorted ammunition with P850,000 in cash believed to be revolutionary tax collection by Alikes.

Meanwhile, the Katinnulong Daguiti Umili iti Amianan, Inc.-Regional Development Center Northern Luzon has called for the immediate release of Abellon-Alikes.

The group in a separate statement said Abellon-Alikes was on her way to downtown of Baguio when she was arrested by elements of the Philippine Army. She was brought to Station 3 of the Baguio City Police Office at Pacdal Circle and was turned over to the Army for custodial detention.

Abellon-Alikes was arrested without warrant of arrest or any complaint and charges against her.

Kaduami-RDC strongly condemns the illegal arrest and detention of Sarah Abellon-Alikes.

“We believe that Sarah is incapable of doing any crime because aside from being a soft-spoken and petite woman in physique, she is a peace-loving person. She had been in development work for almost all her life. She has dedicated herself for genuine service to the people. Also, she is raised in an atmosphere of love in a church where her father used to be a bishop of Episcopal Church in the Philippines (Anglicans),” the statement reads.