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Top Bicol CTG leader with P4 million reward arrested

DOJ indicts two more for ‘terrorism financing’

THE Regional Police Office of the Philippine National Police in Bicol (PRO5-PNP) delt another major blow to the already floundering communist terrorist movement in the region with the apprehension of one of its highest-ranking officials who also carries a P4-million bounty for his arrest.

PRO-5 police director, PB/Gen. Andre Dizon, identified the suspect as Reynaldo Togado Hugo, 61, a member of the executive committee of the National Operations Command (NOC) of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Both are designated terrorist organizations.

Hugo, who also goes by several aliases— Rcicielo, Yulo, Adel, Evan, Bermas, Aster, Julian, Pitoy, Alex, and Bitoy—among others, is also identified as the commanding officer (CO) of the Regional Operational Command of the Bicol Regional Party Command (BRPC) in charge of all NPA fighters in the region.

His criminal records, according to Dizon, include several standing warrants of arrest (WOAs) for murder (3 counts), multiple murder (1 count), direct assault (2 counts), one count each of homicide and attempted homicide. The government has put up a bounty of P4 million for Hugo’s arrest, dead or alive.

Significantly, Hugo has been tagged as masterminding the bloody ambush last March 19, 2021 of a contingent of policemen in Bgy. Dumagmang, Labo, Camarines Norte. The ambush resulted to the death of 5 policemen from the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Coy and the wounding of 2 others.

Dizon said Hugo was arrested past 12 midnight on March 19, 2024, in Bgy. Balangibang, Polangui, Albay, along with 3 other companions, namely:

Bryan Naje Llovit, 42 and his live-in partner, Jeane Pastrana Recuenco, 42, both residents of Purok 2 Guinobatan, Albay; and, Vanessa Nocomora Avila, 25, single and resident of Bgy. Hugo, Pasacao, Camarines Sur.

Dizon said operating units from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Albay Provincial Unit under P/LtCol. Joseph Maribbay, was assisted by the Polangui Municipal Police Office under P/LtCol. Edgar Azotea, LtCol. Peter Barola, 49th Infantry Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) 5 and the 1st Albay Provincial Mobile Force Coy, during the operation.

He added the government team was trying to serve the warrants of arrest against Hugo and his accomplices who tried to evade arrest on board a Toyota Avanza (VFK-563) at a police checkpoint in Bgy. Matacon before they were cornered in Bgy. Balangibang.

Leonor Taguinod Dumlao (in front, in yellow shirts) and co-accused, Valentin Cruz Tolentino, during a hearing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) last year. The DOJ on Wednesday (March 27, 2024) said Dumlao and Tolentino will be charged for violation of Section 8 of R.A. No. 10168, known as “The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012” (photo and caption credit to PNA/Benjamin Pulta).

Dizon said one loaded M16 rifle, one loaded .45 pistol and one fragmentation grenade were seized from the group.

Two more Reds indicted for terrorism financing

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of information against two suspected members of the CPP-NPA operating in the Davao region for terrorism financing or violation of RA 10168 (The Terrorism Financing and Suppression Act of 2012).

Citing a report from the CIDG, the DOJ last March 27, 2024, said in a statement there is sufficient basis to indict Leonor Taguinod Dumlao and Valentin Cruz Tolentino for violation of Section 8 of RA 10168.

The statement further disclosed that discreet investigation conducted by the intelligence community showed the accused are in possession of firearms and ammunition “with no definite source of income.”

Further probes subsequently linked the suspects to the National Finance Commission (NFC) of the CPP-NPA. The NFC is directly involved in demanding money from construction firms, telecommunication companies, bus companies, mining companies and businessmen in the guise of “revtax” (revolutionary tax).

It would not be the first time that the DOJ has indicted CPP-NPA members and officials for terrorism financing.

In September 2021, the DOJ also slapped an additional case of terrorism financing against Frenchie Mae Cumpio, the head of the Regional White Area Committee (RWAC) of the CPP-NPA in Eastern Visayas.

Cumpio and 4 others were arrested during a court-sanctioned police operation in Tacloban City last February 7, 2020, in Tacloban City. At the time of their arrest, Cumpio has been passing off herself as a “member of the press” (see related article here).

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