A suspected longtime New People’s Army (NPA) rebel accused of being among those who killed seven Philippine Army (PA) Special Forces soldiers and five militiamen in an ambush in Sagbayan way back in 2000 was arrested in Bilar on Tuesday afternoon.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which received information from the PA on the whereabouts of Felipe Jaum, collared the alleged rebel in Poblacion, Bilar, three days after government forces and suspected NPA rebels clashed in the adjacent village of Cambigsi.
According to the CIDG, Jaum is a cousin of alleged NPA leader Domingo “Commander Cobra” Compoc.
First Lt. Grace Remonde, civil military officer of the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion, also said that Jaum is believed to be part of Compoc’s group which is feared to have been hiding in the hinterlands of Bilar.
Remonde however said that they have yet to determine whether or not Jaum was among the 15-man armed group which engaged troops from the 47th IB in a 30-minute gunfight in Bilar on Saturday last week.
“Dili pa ta ka determine ana kay ongoing pa ang interrogation,” she said.
Jaum, along with several others including Compoc and other alleged NPA leaders Roy Erecre and Silvano Clamucha allegedly ambushed a unit of the 7th Special Forces Company led by 2nd Lt. Socrates Que in Sta. Catalina, Sagbayan in 2000.
Que along with 11 others were killed in the attack.
Jaum was briefly detained at the Tagbilaran City Police Station but was transferred to the Bohol District Jail on Wednesday considering that he is a high-risk detainee.
Bohol used to be a hotbed of communist guerrilla movement but the government was able to crush the rebel group’s stronghold in the province in the late 2000s with the island being declared insurgency-free in 2010.
However, reports of several sightings of armed men started to surface in 2018.
Two clashes between government forces and suspected rebels also erupted in Bilar and Batuan in 2018 and 2019, respectively, but authorities have maintained that Bohol is still insurgency-free and have vowed to keep the province free of communist guerrillas.