Army says NPA leader, 2 others nabbed in NoCot

Army says NPA leader, 2 others nabbed in NoCot

COTABATO CITY – Government forces running after a band of insurgents captured a communist rebel leader and his two companions in North Cotabato, a military official said Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Jose C. Regonay Jr., Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion (72IB) commander, said the capture came following a firefight with an undetermined New People’s Army (NPA) rebels after they were sighted in the borders of Kitaotao, Bukidnon, and Arakan, North Cotabato on Tuesday.

Regonay identified the captured rebels as Leonardo Ejanel, 37, the company commander of the NPA Guerrilla Front 53; Ryan Desalao, 20; and Merlyn Bentang, a five-month pregnant supporter of the NPA. They are all from Barangay White Kulaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon.

“During debriefing, Ejanel admitted they have firearms buried somewhere in President Roxas, North Cotabato,” Regonay said.

Accompanied by the captured NPA rebels, the soldiers immediately proceeded to Sitio Kiawran, Barangay Datu Inda, President Roxas, North Cotabato, where they discovered high-powered guns and ammunition, medical paraphernalia, and personal belongings.

Regonay said the military remains open to NPA rebels who wished to “embrace peace and rejoin the mainstream society” through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

Together with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front, the NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Leave a Reply