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8ID and PNP capture high ranking NPA leader, recovers IED

By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 22, 2015

CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Troops under 801st Infantry Brigade and personnel from PNP Sta. Rita, Samar Municipal Police Station captured a high ranking NPA leader operating in Samar at Barangay Magsaysay, Sta. Rita, Samar at around 11:58 P.M. of June 21, 2015.

Based on a report from Colonel Leoncio A. Cirunay, Commander 801st Brigade, a concerned civilian reported about a suspicious person roaming around their community. Acting on the information, Cirunay immediately ordered an entrapment operation which resulted to the apprehension of a certain Erwin C. Lagucay alias Eman who was found out to be the NPA Commanding Officer of Sentro de Gravidad “Botchoy” and Head, Organizing Department of Jorge Bolito Command during the time of his arrest. The rebel yielded a cellular phone, one hand grenade, one blasting cap, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and bladed weapons.

The subject during an interview admitted that he was involved in the 2010 raid at Cancaiyas detachment and the ambush of PNP personnel at Barangay Binanalan, Sta. Rita, Samar in 2005. Lagucay is now under the custody of PNP Sta. Rita for proper disposition and filling of appropriate charges.

The discovery of IEDs in Lagucay’s is significant as it is a proof of the continuous violation of Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), an agreement between the government and the National Democratic Front which represented the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines where use of landmines is prohibited. It was an upfront of their disregard to human life as well as of international humanitarian law.

Col. Cirunay lauded the success of the entrapment operation conducted with the PNP and bowed to continue their effort in going after the NPAs in his unit’s area of operation. He said that with the arrest of the NPA leader and the seizure of IEDs, the people in Samar will be spared from becoming possible casualties of the seized IED. He also acknowledged the civilian who tipped the information and call on the people to report NPA activities in their communities so that the rebel group’s inhumane acts can be prevented.