NPA 'reactivating' urban hit squad

LOCAL authorities are validating the possibility that the New People's Army (NPA) has reactivated their Special Partisan Unit (Sparu or Sparrow), the rebel group's urban hit squad that prey on law enforcers, government officials, and those who volunteer to help government.

Task Force Davao head Colonel Erwin Bernard Neri said on Wednesday that they are considering the possibility that the guns recovered at a checkpoint in Lasang are intended for a "liquidation unit."

“We are still actually validating all those information. Actually, the plan of the CPP-NPA really is to deploy liquidation teams in different parts of the region but as far as Davao City is concerned, we are further validating this information with regards to the seizure of the eight firearms last Monday,” Neri said.

An investigation by the Davao City Police Office is still ongoing.

The police have already identified a male suspect who rode a bus in Surigao City going to Davao City. He was one of the 26 passengers of the Bachelor Bus who went missing after passengers were asked to disembark at the checkpoint.

Neri seeks the support of the public to report to the authorities if they notice suspicious-looking individuals in their communities.

“As far as nandito na ba sa loob, we cannot discount the fact na meron na and that’s the reason that we really have to be alert all the time,” he said.

Of the seven .45 caliber pistols seized, only one has a serial number, which reinforces their suspicion that will be used for criminal acts.

“Once na-establish, we can conclude gamit ito ng liquidation squads," Neri said.

"But then if you look at the recovered firearms, the other Ingram machine pistol may silencer siya. 'Pag mga ganyan, it will be used for liquidation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID) spokesperson Captain Rhyan Batchar said they are still validating reports that the hit squad is active again after the NPA's Southern Mindanao Regional Committee released a directive to its ground unit.

In the area of 10th ID, six security personnel were allegedly killed by Sparrow unit members.

“They resort to this because they have been hit very hard by our operations and we can even say that by the number of NPA neutralized or killed during encounters, the number of firearms recovered during encounters,” he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are now in high alert against possible threats of their lives perpetrated by lawless armed group.
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