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CL NPA exec falls, firearm seized

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — An official of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Central Luzon was arrested by authorities last December 4 in Mexico, Pampanga.

Brig. Gen. Valeriano De Leon, Police Regional Office 3 director, identified the arrested suspect as Jose Bernardino, 58, resident of Bgy. Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan.

De Leon said Bernardino is the Regional White Area Committee Secretary, Central Luzon Regional Committee of the CPP-NPA.

Bernardino was arrested by joint personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 3, ISAFP, OU2, NOLCOM, OG2, 7ID, NICA3, PIU, 2nd PMC Pampanga PPO, RID-PRO3, RIU3 and Mexico police.

De Leon said the relentless campaign of the Central Luzon police against rebels is in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order Number 70 to end the local communist armed conflict.

Col. Amante Daro, CIDG-3 regional officer, said Bernardino was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest for the crime of rebellion issued by Judge Paul Attolba Jr. of Nueva Vizcaya RTC Branch 30, dated July 20,2018 with no bail recommended. He is also listed in the DND-DILG National Wanted Person.

Members of the operating team were able to seize a cal. 45 Colt 1911 pistol without serial number, hand fragmentation grenade, and assorted enemy subversive documents from the suspect.

De Leon said further investigation revealed Bernardino has organized labor unions as a legal front of the left wing in different industries in Central Luzon. He and his group were allegedly held liable in the killing of four soldiers in an armed encounter in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya in September 2017.

Meanwhile, one Fernando Lumanlan Poblacio Jr. alias Ka Bert died in an armed encounter with joint detectives of the CIDG RFU 3, PFU Tarlac , RIU 3, 3rd MECH PA, PIU TPPO, 1st PMFC TPPO and San Jose MPS during the serving of a warrant of arrest against him in San Jose, Tarlac also last December 4.

The warrant was issued by Judge Consuelo Amog-Bocar of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 71 in Iba, Zambales against the suspect for murder and attempted murder cases.

Recovered from the scene of encounter were a cal. 5.56 M16 A1 rifle, bandolier and pistol.

Prior to the incident, on the night of December 2, an armed group of five communist rebels led by a certain Ka Bert were seen at Sitio Cayaodan, Bgy. Labney, Mayantoc, Tarlac. The four companions of Ka Bert are now subject of police and military manhunt operations.