Alleged rebel leader, 2 others nabbed for carrying explosives

AN ALLEGED communist rebel leader and his two companions who were caught carrying explosives were arrested Friday dawn, June 9, by troops under the Philippine Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion in Kidapawan, North Cotabato.

Lieutenant Silver Belvis, spokesperson of the 39th IB, said the soldiers immediately responded to a report from the locals on the presence of armed men in their community.

They were able to arrest New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas identified as Edwin Briganio, 57, alias Alon, who is said to be the finance and logistics officer (FLO) of Sub-Regional Committee 3 under the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

His fellow comrade named Joy Ortiz, 19, and Christian John Balatero, 21, attempted to escape but the military forces were able to capture them and they are now subjected to an investigation by the Kidapawan Philippine National Police (PNP).

Seized in their possession are documents, black uniform of Bagong Hukbong Bayan print, cash collection for the month of June, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and one hand grenade.

Briganio, was earlier arrested on January 1, 2011 in Baliok, Bago Gallera, Toril in Davao City by the Philippine National Police Special Action Force officers for robbery, homicide, and double frustrated homicide, stirring controversy for violating the ceasefire declaration between the armed communist movement and the government at that time.

He was released on December 22, 2011 after posting bail.
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