Philippines travel advice

Government troops have captured the leader of the communist rebels alleged to have been behind the attack in a police station in Mati, Davao Oriental last weekend.

In a press statement released on Wednesday, the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command identified the rebel leader as Prince Wendel Olofernes, alias Edoy or Doy, a commander of the Sentro de Grabidad of Guerrila Front 18.

Olofernes, who was wearing a military uniform, was cornerned by joint elements of the AFP’s 104th Division Reconnaissance Company and police forces at around 6:30 p.m. Monday in Barangay Taguibo in Mati City.

The statement quoted Lt. General Aurelio Baladad, Eastern Mindanao commander, as vowing to pursue the case against the nabbed rebel leader.

“We will file appropriate charges against Olofernes but while doing so, we will ensure that his right will not be violated and due process will be accorded to him,” Baladad said.

“A joint legal action group is now in the process of conducting legal procedures for the filing of a case in relation to Republic Act 9851,” he added.

On Feb. 14, not less than 50 suspected NPA rebels attacked a police station in Mati City, Davao Oriental, resulting to the deaths of four Philippine Army soldiers and an NPA rebel.

The NPA rebels were able to enter the station but the 30 police officers on duty were able to defend it from being complete taken.

The rebels escaped in three vans after soldiers arrived, leaving behind a truck. When the soldiers gave chase, a landmine exploded, killing three soldiers and injuring one. Another soldier was killed when he passed by an NPA checkpoint.

The statement, meanwhile, identified the killed NPA “based on available data and picture from the police and military” as Brian Alfonso alias Sim, a Vice Commander of SDG of Front 18.

“In coordination with the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office of Davao Oriental, the 701st Brigade is now locating the family of Alfonso for proper disposition,” it added.