Suspected NPA platoon leader arrested in Iloilo

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 10, 2019): Suspected NPA platoon leader arrested in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Police on Sunday arrested a suspected platoon leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Iloilo, but a regional farmers’ group condemned the arrest and denied that the arrested suspect was a rebel.

Herman Alliza was arrested at his house in Barangay Bolo in Maasin town in Iloilo where police officers said they found a hand grenade, holsters, a handcuff pouch, and several alleged rebel documents.

Police searched his house on the strength of a warrant issued by Judge Gemalyn Faunillo-Tarol of the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court Branch 31, according to a report of the Western Visayas Police Regional Office.

Alliza, allegedly a platoon leader of the NPA under the Central Front Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has been detained at the Maasin Municipal Police Station.

But the farmers’ group Paghugpong sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (Pamanggas) decried Alliza’s arrest, saying he was a farmer and village coordinator of Anakpawis party-list group.

“He is a former barangay captain and Pamanggas treasurer who is known in the town and even in the municipal hall as a farmer and weaver of bamboo-made beds and seats,” Cris Chavez, Pamanggas secretary-general, said.

Chavez tagged Alliza’s arrest as a part of a “crackdown on legal organizations” by linking them to the NPA and “planting” firearms and explosives in their houses and offices.

“This is a desperate move to quell the protests of farmers severely affected by the Rice Tariffication Law and other harmful policies of the government,” Chavez said.

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