CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Law enforcers on Monday arrested six suspected members of the outlawed New People’s Army (NPA) extorting money from a local businessman at Barangay del Pilar here, situated adjacent to the City Hall.
Senior Supt. Joel Consulta, Director of the Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPO), identified the suspects as Leonides Ramos, 80, of Bgy. Del Pilar; Jay Dizon, 40 and Roderick Laxamana, 42, both of Mexico, Pampanga; and Jobeth Caranza, 27, Darwin Santiago, 36, and Alex Guevarra, 30, of Arayat, Pampanga.
Consulta said the suspects, armed with handguns and a hand grenade, claimed to be NPA rebels allegedly dispatched by their leader to pick up P50,000 in so-called “revolutionary tax” from businessman Ladislao del Rosario.
Del Rosario told investigators that the suspects threatened him with bodily harm if he fails to meet the demand. It was the same case in February this year, when the group visited him in his residence and also demanded P50,000.
Consulta said Del Rosario sought the help of the Pampanga Public Safety Company (PPSC), which set up an entrapment operation against the suspects.
It was past 10 a.m. when the suspects showed up at the residence of Del Rosario to collect the P50,000 but were immediately arrested by lawmen deployed ahead of time.
Sensing they are surrounded by cops, Consulta said, the suspects raised their hands and surrendered peacefully.
Among the items confiscated from the suspects’ possession were a caliber 9mm pistol, two caliber .38 revolvers, a caliber .22 pistol, and a hand grenade.
Consulta said an amount of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was also seized from one of the suspects, who were brought to PPSC headquarters for tactical interrogation even as charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and illegal drugs charges are readied against them.