2 suspected NPA rebels die in extortion try shootout

Google map of Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat.

COTABATO CITY: Police killed in a shootout two alleged communist guerillas who were engaged in extortion activities in Senator Ninoy Aquino (SNA) town, Sultan Kudarat, Sunday morning.

Lt. Col. Lino Capellan, the spokesperson of the Police Regional Office -12, identified one of two slain suspects as Raminie Romo Sambilad, 26, of Barangay Langgal in the same municipality.

The identity of the other suspect has yet to be determined, he added.

Prior to the operation, an owner of a banana plantation informed the police about an alleged demand letter of the NPA Front 73 for a PHP150,000 revolutionary tax, Capellan said.

Police intelligence operatives immediately validated the report and asked for the cooperation of the farm owner for the conduct of an entrapment operation, he said.

“The plantation owner called the mobile phone number indicated on the letter and acted as if she agrees to the demand of a certain alias Gorio who is an alleged sub-leader of the NPA group,” the police official said, adding the SNA police immediately hatched an entrapment operation plan for the agreed meeting place in Sitio Tower of the village.

Capellan said at 10:30 a.m., the two suspects arrived in the area on board a motorcycle.

A female police agent acting as the plantation owner gave the bag purportedly carrying the money to the suspects. However, after the transaction, the suspects sensed the presence of police officers surrounding them and immediately pulled out their firearms and opened fire, triggering a shootout, Capellan said.

“As a result, the two suspects suffered gunshot wounds and were brought to the hospital but both were declared dead on arrival,” Capellan said.

Seized from the suspects were a hand grenade; a .38-caliber revolver, a 9-mm pistol, suspected dried marijuana leaves wrapped in a small plastic, two mobile phones, a motorcycle, and the two bundles of bogus money for P150,000 with two original PHP1,000 bills on top.

All the recovered items were brought to the SNA police for proper documentation.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

 (PNA/ Noel Punzalan/SRNY/ RSP)

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