- 12 suspected NPA rebels were arrested at a checkpoint in Batangas
- The arrests followed the skirmish between soldiers and NPA warriors in Nasugbu
- The checkpoint was set up to prevent NPA members from fleeing from the encounter site
Police on Monday, November 20, stopped a jeepney carrying suspected communist rebels at a checkpoint in Nasugbu, Batangas around 10 in the morning, two hours after an encounter between the rebels and soldiers took place in Barangay Utod.
According to the Inquirer, authorities arrested 12 passengers of the jeepney believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“Appropriate charges will be filed against the said 12 individuals upon further verification. They are now under custody of PNP Nasugbu,” Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Melchor Durante said.
Durante said the checkpoint was set up to prevent the “terrorists” from fleeing from the encounter site. Some of the armed men were believe to be still in hiding within the vicinity of the site.
Karapatan, a human rights group, belied the report that the arrested individuals are members of the NPA.
On its Facebook page, the group said nine of those arrested were not rebels but members of the quick reaction team led by Batangas Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan who were “on their way to Barangay Utod to monitor the human rights violation against civilians amid the ongoing military operations of the PAF against members of the New People’s Army in Nasugbu.”