THE Army was surprised on the report that the suspects who plot the ambush of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Northern Mindanao officials were allegedly members of the Alex Bongcayao Brigade (ABB).

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Brigadier General Mario Chan, commanding general of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said he is surprised with this report.

Earlier, the arrested suspects, Crosito J. Romulo and Anthony R. Saul, claimed they are members of the ABB. A female suspect identified only as Shiela said she is also a member of the group.

However, the military discredit the suspects' claim.

"I only knew that now. But as far as I know, ABB had long separated from the New People's Army (NPA) and we haven't heard any news from them," Chan said.

But he said anybody can claim to be a member of a certain leftist group to justify their actions.

Romulo and Saul figured into a gunfight with police who were on patrol inside Apovel Subdivision in Barangay Bulua barely a week ago, which resulted to their arrest.

The two admitted having a hand in the attempted slay of Engr. Mauro Bravo, DPWH assistant regional director, last month, though they said it was a case of mistaken identity since their main target was DPWH-Northern Mindanao Regional Director Jerome dela Rosa.

As of press time, Dela Rosa has yet to give his comments on the supposed slay plot. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)