Police and military personnel apprehended three former Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) students suspected of being New People’s Army (NPA) members, during an operation in Tanay, Rizal, on Thursday night.

Lieutenant Col. Noel Detoyato, Army 16th Infantry Battalion commander, identified the three as Marissa Espidido, 21, Jared Valero Morales, 21, and Hermogenes Reyes, 22.

The three were taken into custody after troops recovered from them an M16 rifle with an M203 grenade launcher, another M16 rifle, a shotgun, with 12 live ammunition, 12 loaded M16 magazines, 12 40-millimeter ammunition, two grenades, and an “improvised explosive,” Detoyato said.

The operation was carried out around 8:45 p.m. raid in Brgy. Sta. Ynez.

Espidido was a BS Sociology student at PUP while Morales and Reyes took up courses on business administration and cooperatives, according to Detoyato.

“Di sila sabay-sabay na umalis ng PUP. Si Marissa, 17 (years old) pa lang na-recruit na. Nag-file ng writ (of amparo) ang parents niya kaya nakuha sya ulit, but bumalik din siya sa NPA,” the military official said.

“They (suspects) go near populated centers to evade our operations and recruit, extort, or harass troops if there is an opportunity… They did not resist or put up a fight because of the overwhelming number of troops (during the raid),” Detoyato said.

Police are readying charges against the three, who will be turned over to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, he added. (John Roson)

– end –