CPP leader, ex-priest held, 2 grenades , firearm seized

THE Philippine National Police leadership yesterday announced the arrest of a ranking member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines and his companion, a retired Catholic priest during a raid in Imus City in Cavite  which led in the seizure of two hand grenades and a loaded firearm.

“I want to acknowledge the laudable accomplishment of combined personnel of the NCRPO, SAF,PRO 4A and AFP,” said PNP Deputy Chief for Operations and Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Director General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa when he announced the capture of CPP Central Committee member Renante Gamara alias ‘Mike/Totoy’ and retired priest Arturo Joseph Monzon Balagat at the Southern Police District headquarters.

National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that during the service of a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms in Gamara’s safehouse at no. 162 General Bautista Street in Poblacion II-A, Imus City, the raiding team recovered two hand grenades, a pistol, several electronic gadgets and documents containing suspected subversive information and P90,000 in cash.

According to Eleazar, members of the NCRPO, the PNP Special Action Force, the Police Regional Office 4-A and the Armed Forces made the arrest following a month-long surveillance and case build-up triggered by a tip from a concerned citizen.

Eleazar said that at around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, members of the Joint NCRPO-AFP Task Force Kalasag searched the suspect’s place and arrested them after they discovered the grenades and firearm.

Gamboa said that a record check showed that Gamara was arrested in 2012 in Las Piñas City on the strength of a warrant of arrest for kidnapping with murder and for frustrated murder.

Gamara was among the 21 National Democratic Front consultants who were temporarily released as a gesture of goodwill by the Duterte administration for them to be able to participate in the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations in Oslo, Norway in 2016.