Communist rebel in Mansalay ambush captured

A suspected communist rebel involved in the deadly ambush of Army soldiers Saturday morning in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro was captured by the military, an Armed Forces spokesman said.

Heyo Idlaw, alias Itag, was arrested about 10 hours after the attack in Brgy. Panaytayan that left 11 government troops dead and eight wounded, said Armed Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr. on Tuesday.

“Nahuli na po natin ‘yong isang miyembro ng New Peoples Army na kasama don sa mga naka-engkwentro ng ating tropa,” he said.

Brawner said Idlaw had admitted to being involved in the ambush and that he was part of guerillas’ assault team.

Private Juralp Culili, a member of the 23rd Division Reconnaissance Company, identified Idlaw as one of the communist rebels the soldiers encountered.

Idlaw on Tuesday underwent a paraffin test to check for gunpowder residues on the hands, he said, adding, “We are waiting for the result of the test from the crime laboratory.”

Twenty soldiers, belonging to the 23rd Division Reconnaissance Company of the Philippine Army, were on combat operations in Brgy. Panaytayan at around 5:20 a.m. Saturday when they stumbled upon an NPA camp with about 50 communist rebels.

A three-hour firefight ensued.

Brawner said pursuit operations were ongoing.

“We believe that we will be able to catch up with the group within the next few days,” he said.

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