THE Army's 28th Infantry Battalion (IB) arrested Tuesday a suspected member of the New People's Army (NPA) who was carrying two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Barangay Araibo, Pantukan, Compostella Valley.

The suspect, identified as Rito Lucnod, was caught hiding at a vegetable plantation while holding a triggering device. The troops were conducting security patrol in the area when they spotted the suspect.

Recovered from Lucnod's possession were two IEDs with blasting caps, triggering device and 100 meters electric wire.

Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Daniel Tianco, chief of the 28th IB, said they received reports from concerned civilians in the area about the suspect's presence there.

Captain Alberto Caber, public information officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said the incident has nothing to do with reports that the NPA is out to launch retaliatory attacks for the killing of Leoncio Pitao, also known as Kumander Parago.

"Sa tingin ko hindi naman. Mahirapan din yan sila makabawi. Ready naman din ang ating forces for any kinds of attack," Caber said.

Caber said they've been expecting this kind of report despite their intensified campaign on peace and order in the region. (KRP)