Ranking communist rebel nabbed in Quezon

A RANKING communist rebel commander in Southern Tagalog region was captured by combined military and police operatives in Lucena City, Quezon province, police said yesterday.

Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao confirmed that Tirso Alcantara, alias Ka Bart, was wounded when he tried to resist arrest by troops of the 1st Special Forces Battalion and Quezon provincial police in Barangay Ibabang Iyam, Lucena around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The arrest was made a day after an 18-day Yuletide ceasefire between the rebels and government expired.

Alcantara allegedly heads the regional operation command of the New People’s Army under the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The rebel commander was with a companion, Apolonio Cuarto, alias Ka Polly, when he was intercepted.

Police said Alcantara, reportedly the subject of 23 warrants of arrest, tried to draw his pistol, triggering a commotion during which he was wounded in the buttocks.

He was brought to the Southern Luzon Command hospital and has since been transferred to the V. Luna hospital in Metro Manila.

Cuarto was taken to the Quezon provincial police office for interrogation.

Seized from the two were a .45 caliber pistol with two loaded magazines, two grenades, nine blasting caps and five meters of detonator cord. Anthony Vargas

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