• Bicol police presented sham rebel to media, says NPA

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    LEGAZPI CITY: The Celso Minguez Command of the New People’s Army strongly contested and denied the report of Chief Supt. Clarence Guinto, Bicol police director who, they claim presented a bogus rebel in an effort to generate media mileage.

    Guinto presented to the members of tri-media on Tuesday at Camp Gen. Simeon Ola a certain Merjel Bebria alias Ka Joy, 41, of Donsol Sorsogon as vice commanding officer of Sorsogon Larangan 2 operating in Donsol town a few days after the Philippine Army’s 903rd Infantry Brigade overrun a rebel camp.

    The police official told media in a press briefing that Ka Joy, a widower and a resident of Donsol town voluntarily surrendered to Police Inspector Jim Vargas Jeremias, officer-in-charge of Donsol police station and Police Officer 3 Roel Renolayan after a long period of negotiation.

    But Celso Minguez Command spokesman Samuel Guerrero denied Guinto’s report saying Ka Joy is a civilian and not a member of Guerilla’s Larangan 2.

    “Merjel Bebria alias Ka Joy, 41, of Donsol, Sorsogon presented by Philippine National Police as vice commanding officer of Sorsogon Larangan number 2 is a fake and was used as instrument of its psy-war tactic under the Oplan Bayanihan,” Guerrero said in a statement.

    The surrender of Nebria came after eight NPA guerrillas were killed in a military encounter in a remote village in Juban, Sorsogon, on July 4. Among the casualties were Ka Greg Bañares, the popular NPA-National Democratic Front spokesman in the Bicol region, and his wife.

    Army Lt. Alfie Ayo, platoon leader of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion led the assault that overran the rebel camp.

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