OZAMIZ CITY – An alleged New People’s Army (NPA) commander was arrested in Barangay Gango, Ozamiz City on Thursday, along with an Iglesia Filipina Independiente bishop, his wife, and their driver.
Rommel Salinas was arrested after their vehicle was flagged down in a checkpoint.
Police served to Salinas five arrest warrants on different cases including murder and frustrated murder.
An MK2 hand grenade, knife, communication gadgets, a map and P80,000 were found among Salinas’ belongings.
Authorities also brought in Salinas’ companions in the vehicle: Iglesia Filipina Independiente Bishop Carlos Morales and his wife Maria Teofilina, and their driver Isadome Dalid.
Ozamiz police chief Jovie Espenido and Lt. Col. Pompeo Almagro said Morales personally knows Salinas and aided his travel.
Morales denied knowing Salinas and his affiliation with the rebel group. He said it was for humanitarian consideration that he picked up Salinas on the road that rainy night.
Incoming Mindanao Bishop Conference President Antonio Ablon said Morales' arrest and detention was illegal.
The Morales couple and their driver were temporarily released from detention on Friday to share lunch with church members who gathered outside the police station.
Morales said they will talk to their lawyers for appropriate legal actions.
Police will press charges against the couple and their driver.