Two militant activists nabbed by PNP operatives
By Mar S. Arguelles
THE secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Bicol and the chairperson of Anakbayan in Naga City were nabbed at dawn Sunday, May 2, by police operatives in separate police raids in Albay and Camarines Sur.
Arrested were Daniel Balucio, pastor of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and secretary general of Bayan Bicol and Sasah Sta Rosa, Anakbayan Naga City chapter chairperson.
Based on the Facebook post of Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, the raiding team that arrested Sta. Rosa was composed of operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camarines Sur and National Capital Region, contrary to Anakbayan’s statement that the group that nabbed the activist was a team from the police Special Warfare and Tactics (SWAT).
The policemen armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Edgar L. Armes of the Regional Trial Court in Legazpi, raided the house of Sta Rosa at Villa Obiedo, Naga City at around 3:00 AM.
The relatives of Sta. Rosa said that they were forcibly sent outside their house and were ordered to dropped on the ground face down, while the police operatives conducted the search for about 40 minutes.
After conducting the search, a member of the raiding team was holding a bag containing a gun, grenade and a red flag, the relatives said.
Sta. Rosa is presently detained at the Naga City Police Station 2.
Meanwhile in separate police operation, police operatives served a court warrant to Balucio at his house in Sto Domingo town in Albay at around 4:00 AM, Vince Casilihan, Bayan Bicol spokesperson said.
The search resulted to the recovery of explosives inside Balucio’s room, Casilihan said, Both Bayan and Anakbayan claimed that the arrests were trumped-up and the seizure of guns and explosives were planted to build a case against the activist, Casilihan said.
As this developed, BGen Jonnel Estomom Bicol police chief, in a press statement said the arrest of the two activists were part of the police crackdown against loose firearms and explosives.
Police report said recovered from Sta Rosa’s house were a 9mm pistol with live bullets, a hand grenade, improvised explosive device, switch, a time fuse, a red book, a black shirt with markings “Rebolusyon Hindi Election” documents, and a wallet.
Recovered from Balucio’s house were a .45 caliber gun with magazine and bullets, two magazines containing 16 bullets, and another with eight bullets for the M14 rifle, a hand grenade, a holster and a red flag with “Bagong Hukbong Bayan,” markings.
Jenelyn Nagrampa, Bayan Bicol chairperson, in an interview has denounced the arrest of Balucio and Sta Rosa saying that the attack on activists is the scenario used by the Duterte administration to crack down on people who are against the government Anti-Terror Law, red-tagging and the kill, kill, kill campaign versus political activist.
Nagrampa said she has asked the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL) to assist the two activists that were also victims of questionable search warrants and the planting of evidence.
She said that the search warrant used by the police did not state what specific items are they are looking for, their locations, and who were the complainants.
Nagrampa said the case was similar to the murder charges that the police had filed against her and Pastor Dan San Andres, which the provincial prosecutor’s office dismissed recently.