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Most wanted rebel falls

A commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Western Mindanao who is wanted for several murder cases was arrested in Ozamiz City.

Brigadier General Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, Commander of the 1st Infantry Division, identified the arrested NPA commander as Rommel Salinas alias Vencio, Beto, Carlos, Doming, Artem, and Mark.

Salinas was nabbed together with two others identified as Carlo Morales who is a bishop with the Aglipayan Church, his wife Maria Morales and their driver Sadome Dalid.

Salinas and his companions, who were later brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Provincial Office in Ozamiz City, were on board a maroon Starex when the arrest was made in Brgy. Gango by troops of the 102nd Infantry Brigade of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division together with the elements of the PNP Provincial Office.

Bautista said the NPA in Zamboanga peninsula and its surrounding areas were involved in numerous atrocities nationwide especially in Mindanao particularly arson, extortion, killings, and abduction.

Salinas, being a Front Secretary of the NPA is reportedly involved in numerous high profile crimes against the people and humanity.

Meantime, clashes between authorities and the NPA continue in Samar where a soldier and a rebel were killed in a recent conflict.

First Lieutenant Cherry M. Junia of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Samar identified the fatality Pfc Jaime C. Mabini of the 43rd Infantry (We Search) Battalion.

Junia said Mabini, who was injured in a firefight with the NPA rebels, expired while undergoing medical treatment in a hospital.

Junia was fatally wounded during an encounter between soldiers and NPA rebels recently in the municipal boundaries of Barangay Camayaan, Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar and Barangay San Roque, Matuguinao, Samar.

Mabini said they got information about suspicious-looking men roaming around the area and that a 10-minute gun fight happened as soon as they arrived to check on the situation.

Also recovered was the body of an unidentified NPA rebel.
(With a report from Nestor L. Abrematea) (FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD)