Kidnap raps filed vs. NPAs in Manero abduction

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Davao City has filed kidnapping charges against communist rebels who last week snatched the brother of convicted priest-killer Norberto Manero from a banana farm in Calinan district in this city.

Facing the charges are Leonardo Pitao alias Kumander Parago, the leader of the New People’s Army Merardo Arce Command, and several other communist rebels.

The complaint filed with the City Prosecutor’s Office was backed by testimony of two security guards of banana grower Lapanday Farms in Purok 4, Pangyan, Calinan district two weeks ago. 

Retired MSgt. Jose Manero, brother of Nortberto Manero Jr., remains in rebel hands after Kumander Parago raided the farm with his rebel band who fled with several pieces of highpowered firearms filched from the farm armory. Manero Jr. is the convicted killer of Fr. Tulio Favali, who was shot dead by the vigilante grouip Ilaga headed by Manero Jr. in Tulonan, North Cotabato in 1985.

Security guards Rico Badil and Hermingildo Braga positvely identified Kumander Parago who led the band who abducted the retired soldier who served as security officer of farm owner Raffy Lorenzo. Lorenzo and three farm managers were also taken by the rebels but were released a few hours after the raid.

Manero Jr. who cut short a life term in a presidential pardon was released from jail last January, and has been forgiven by the North Cotabato Diocese. He arrived in Davao City Tuesday to seek the assistance of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for the release of his brother he said was ill.

Manero Jr. also known as Kumander Bucay gained notoriety in the 1980s as head of the Ilaga, a military-backed militia that helped government fight communist rebels and separatist Muslim groups in North Cotabato.

He told durianburgdavao in an exclusive interview he has shunned violence and came to Davao to plead for the return of his brother. He denied media reports he was reviving Ilaga to go after the communist rebels to free his brother. 

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