Government troops foiled an attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Quezon, arresting three members of the rebel group who were carrying firearms and explosives in San Francisco town Friday night, the military said.

Arrested were Dennis Quidor, team leader of an NPA “special operations unit;” and Rodrigo Guevarra and Eliseo Lopez, both new “full-time” members of the rebel group, Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina said.

Authorities also took into custody Alex Herez and Ariel Bordane, both residents of San Francisco who were hired by the rebels as drivers, Bolina said in a text message.

The five were apprehended around 11 p.m., when the two motorcycles they were riding passed through a checkpoint manned by soldiers and policemen, he said.

The motorcycles earlier avoided another checkpoint at the military patrol base in Brgy. Ilayang Tayuman, also in the same town, Bolina said.

Quidor, Guevarra, and Lopez were carrying bags that contained an improvised explosive device, a hand grenade, seven blasting caps, an improvised caliber-.22 gun, a loaded M16 rifle magazine, loaded caliber-.45 pistol magazine, poncho, and subversive documents, he said.

“Accordingly, the three were tasked to conduct a ‘final reconnaissance’ before the rebels stage attacks in the towns of Mulanay, San Francisco, and San Narciso,” Bolina said.

Quidor, Guevarra, and Lopez, as well as Herez and Bordane, remain under custody while charges are being prepared, according to the regional military spokesman. (John Roson)

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