NPA plot to bomb Mindanao foiled; one of suspects bore party-list ID – AFP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 4) — Two suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) have been arrested in Bukidnon, following plots to bomb parts of Mindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Friday.

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. General Restituto Padilla said the two, who were brothers, were hiding and leaving behind bombs in different parts of Mindanao when they were arrested Wednesday.

"Makikita niyo po ito po 'yung mga bomba na nais nilang ilatag sa maraming lugar ng Mindanao lalo na po sa may Bukidnon," he said at the Bangon Marawi Forum.

[Translation: You can see the bombs they were trying to leave in Mindanao, especially in Bukidnon.]

He said one of the perpetrators bore an Anakpawis party-list ID.

However, they are still reaching out to the said party-list to check if the arrested men are affiliated with the group.

"His linkages to the armed component of the group will have to be ascertained. So if indeed it is established, subject of investigation right now, then dun po papasok 'yung kinakailangang hakbang na gagawin ng political side ng ating gobyerno (then proper steps will be taken by the government)," he said.

CNN Philippines tried to get the side of Anakpawis, but they have yet to respond.

Intensified attacks

Padilla said the incident in Bukidnon is one of the many plots to bomb the region.

"You've seen what happened in Negros. The plans of the armed components of the NPA there were very treacherously planned," he added.

He added, "The threat is actually… You've seen all the explosives that were on the picture. That's just a glimpse. That's only one part. That's only Bukidnon. There are other areas in Mindanao where you have similar successes in getting a cache of explosives and firearms and the like."

Padilla said this is part of the NPA's intensified attacks.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte gave the AFP the go signal to increase the number of recruits in the military  to address the NPA threat.

Duterte, on July 21, said he will no longer talk with communist rebels. The government had earlier canceled backchannel talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines due to recent NPA attacks.

READ: Duterte: No more talks with communist rebels