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NPA officer arrested




KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – Authorities are on heightened alert following the arrest of a medical officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) here on Saturday.

Supt. Marvin Dua-dua, spokesperson of the South Cotabato police, said they have been on alert for a possible retaliation from the communist rebel group after the arrest of Maria Liwanag Fernandez, the regional medical officer of the NPA-Far South Mindanao Regional Committee, by police and military intelligence operatives in Barangay General Paulino Santos.

Fernandez is facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges in connection with the abduction of Sgt. Solaiman Calocop and Pfc.Samuel Garay, both members of 39th Infantry Battalion, NPA rebels in Barangay Telefas, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, on February 2, 2017.

The abducted soldiers were later freed after a month of captivity in Davao del Sur.

Police said Fernandez yielded an M-203 rifle grenade and improvised explosive device.

The military tagged the suspect as one of the ranking official of the NPA- FSMRC and the niece of Bubu Fernadez, the deputy secretary-general of the NPA-FSMRC operating in Central Mindanao.

Dua-dua said the arrest of Fernandez was a big loss to the NPA rebel group.

“We’re expecting a possible retaliation from communist rebels after the arrest of Fernandez,” Dua-dua said.

He said police and military units in the province have been directed to closely monitor the movement of NPA and its allied organizations for possible counter measures.