NPA now engaged in kidnap-for-ransom, police say

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa said Monday, February 26, that the communist New People’s Army (NPA) is now engaged in kidnap-for-ransom activities.

Dela Rosa made the statement following the arrest of Donato Jacob, one of the suspects in the 2017 kidnapping of Raziel Bungay, on Saturday, February 24 in Obando Bulacan.

Jacob’s group asked for P15-million ransom but the supposed meet-up to rescue Bungay turned into an encounter, which resulted in the killing of the four other suspects and PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) official Superintendent Arthur Masungsong.

Dela Rosa said Jacob, the only survivor among the suspects, admitted that they were all active members of the NPA based in Bulacan. The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is regarded by President Rodrigo Duterte as a terrorist organization.

AKG director Glenn Dumlao said Jacob revealed that they were originally engaged in extortion of businessmen in their area.

Jacob allegedly claimed that he served as a collector. Jacob also claimed that they planned Bungay’s kidnap-for-ransom to raise funds for their Christmas party.

“Inamin naman niya na hindi nila makontrol ang kanilang mga tauhan at nagsasariling sikap. Never naman yan na nalaman natin sa history ng kidnap-for-ransom na nag-i-involve sila sa kidnap-for-ransom. Ito ngayon he is a living testimony galing sa nahuling member nila (NPA) na KFR ang ginawa nila,” said Dela Rosa.

"Meron silang kidnapping, pero never may ransom. This is an erosion of the belief of their post. Akala ko meron kang ipinaglalaban na cause. Bakit ito ang ginagawa 'nyo?" he added.

Dela Rosa said this is a “very serious matter” and may affect the chances of resuming the peace talks between the government and the communists. (SunStar Philippines)
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