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Alleged rebel leader tied to Agusan mayor’s slay arrested

Otaza: Former rebel turned bitter communist critic. Photo courtesy of Dennis Jay Santos/Inquirer Mindanao

A ranking communist rebel has been arrested, three years after he was implicated in the 2015 killing of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, Mayor Dario Otaza and his 27-year-old son, Daryl, the police said on Thursday.

Maximo Catarata, also known as “Commander Boyet Tindogan,”  was collared inside a cockpit in Barangay Bolhoon, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur on Wednesday evening  on the strength of arrest warrants for frustrated homicide,murder and rebellion.

Tindogan, is now detained at the San Miguel police jail.

Chief Insp. George Cariño, San Miguel police chief, said Tindogan, 48, who used to head NPA Front Committee 34, was the primary suspect in the abduction and murder of the Otazas in October 2015.

The arrested rebel leader had been identified by Otaza’s security escorts as the head of the rebel team that swooped down on the mayor’s residence.

Father and son were abducted from their home in Butuan City by armed men suspected to be communist rebels.

They were found, 12 hours later, dead in a mountainous village—victims of a double execution—hogtied and their bodies riddled with bullets.

The mayor was a former rebel who surrendered and later became mayor of Loreto in Agusan del Sur province, helping liberate the town from insurgents’ influence.

He became an outspoken critic of the NPA and helped convince nearly 250 rebels, most of them members of his lumad indigenous community, to surrender to the government. By GD

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