Police said that they have arrested an alleged high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in Ozamiz City on February 01, 2018.
Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, Northern Mindanao police spokesperson said that Rommel Dorango Salinas, secretary of the CPP, was arrested in a joint military police operation in Barangay Aguada, Ozamiz City around 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Salinas has a standing arrest warrant for frustrated murder and destructive arson issued by the Surigao City Regional Trial Court on October 21 according to Gonda. Left-leaning human rights watchdog Karapatan said, however, that Salinas was arrested in May 2017 yet.
“Ipapaalala lang po namin sa authorities na inaresto n’yo na po si Rommel Salinas na NDFP consultant last May 11, 2017 together with Bishop Carlos Morales, his wife and his driver. So ano ito? Bolahan na lang, gaguhan na lang. Pasensya na ha. We are very sure that this person is a victim of illegal arrest,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
On May 2017, Salinas was reported to have been arrested at a checkpoint in Barangay Gango, Ozamiz City, where the police have recovered from him an MK2 hand grenade, knife, communication gadgets, a map, and PhP 80,000 cash.
“Police Chief Superintendent Timoteo Pacleb, regional director of Police Regional Office 10, commended the operating personnel for the arrest of Rommel Salinas during the implementation of LIO manhunt Charlie and enhanced managing police operation. Furthermore, RD encouraged all personnel of the PRO 10 to continue its unwavering efforts to eradicate all forms of criminality in the regions and keep on reinvigorating its anti-criminality campaign,” the police’s statement reads.
These crachkdown against the communist rebels are being conducted by the government following the termination of the peace talks. The termination is due to the continued attacks made by the NPA, CPP’s armed wing, against the government forces amid the talks. Duterte also tagged the CPP-NPA as terrorists.