Army claims alleged NPA leader arrested in Digos

By
July 29 2013
(contributed photo: 1002nd Brigade Public Affairs Office)

(contributed photo: 1002nd Brigade Public Affairs Office)

In a press release from the Armed Forces’ 1002nd Brigade, Maria Loida Magpatoc, 52 years old, was arrested by joint elements of the Davao del Sur Police Provincial Office and 1002nd Infantry Brigade in the city’s Old Terminal, Barangay Zone III.

By John Rizle L. Saligumba
Davao Today

Davao City – Authorities arrested on Saturday dawn in Digos City an alleged leader of the New People’s Army from Socsksargen region.

In a press release from the Armed Forces’ 1002nd Brigade, Maria Loida Magpatoc, 52 years old, was arrested by joint elements of the Davao del Sur Police Provincial Office and 1002nd Infantry Brigade in the city’s Old Terminal, Barangay Zone III.

The statement said her location was based on “information provided by a concerned citizen regarding the presence of a most wanted person in the vicinity.”

The military claimed Magpatoc is the Secretary of the Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.

However, Magpatoc is placed as one of the most wanted list by the PNP on charges of robbery, double homicide and damage to properties, with a reward for her capture of 500,000 pesos.

Magpatoc’s arrest draws attention on political prisoners in the country, individuals arrested on political beliefs, such as Vanessa delos Reyes who was paralyzed in an encounter with the Philippine Army in 2011 yet remains hospital custody of the army.  Human rights group Karapatan says the country has around 430 political prisoners.

Selda (Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) secretary general Angie Ipong, who was jailed and acquitted from charges after six years in prison, decries government’s treatment of political prisoners.

“Branding political prisoners as criminals and heaping upon them common crime charges conveniently hide the political nature of their acts; allow the government to shamelessly declare them as common criminals not motivated by a higher goal, thereby violating these prisoners’ rights even more.” Ipong said in an interview with bulatlat.com.

Karapatan and Selda has urged President Aquino for the unconditional release of political prisoners.

(John Rizle L. Saligumba/davaotoday.com)

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