A team of police and Army personnel arrested a ranking leader of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) at a checkpoint in Surigao del Sur, a military official said on August 22, 2020.
1st Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn), said Sarvina Rivas Quijano was nabbed at a checkpoint along Marihatag-Cagwait Highway on Thursday while onboard in a multi-cab (YCZ-583) driven by a certain Jovencito Lozada.
Punsalan said Quijano was identified by a former rebel as the finance staff of the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and the “party wife” of Marcelino Tampos Navarro, the NEMRC deputy secretary-general killed on July 7 this year during an encounter with government forces in Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
“Government troopers manning the checkpoint noticed in plain view protruding rifle grenades in the multi-cab which prompted them to search the vehicle,” Punsalan said.
Recovered from the vehicle were two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a blasting cap with detonating cord, three rifle grenades, five analog cellular phones, a Lenovo tablet, subversive documents, numerous SIM cards, an external drive, and a memory card allegedly owned by the suspect, Punsalan said.
“Quijano’s arrest is a big boost in the Army’s campaign to disrupt the Communist Terrorist Group’s (CTGs) fund generation scheme which is key to end local communist armed conflict in the region,” the Army official said.
He also noted that Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, commander of Joint Task Force Diamond and of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID), previously urged the business sector in Northern Mindanao and Caraga Region to help end insurgency by not giving in to the extortion demands of the NPA.
Punsalan said the insurgency in Surigao del Sur and Caraga would not be solved if money, through extortion, continues to flow into the hands of the NPA rebels.
Quijano is now in the custody of the police for documentation and filing of appropriate criminal charges. (Alexander Lopez, PNA)