JOINT elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested on Monday a key member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The suspect named Adelberto Silva was arrested at 11:10 p.m. Monday in Bacoor, Cavite by virtue of a warrant of arrest for 15 counts of murder in relation to the 1985 Inopacan, Leyte massacre.

Also arrested were Sharon Cabusao, his party wife, and Isidro de Lima.

"They did not resist arrest when accosted by the security forces," AFP public affairs office chief Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc said.

Authorities recovered from their possession three rifle grenades, "subversive" documents, improvised bomb components and several electronic devices. An inventory of these seized items was made in the presence of village officials, Cabunoc said.

Silva is the head of National Organization Department (NOD) and also the secretary general of the CPP Central Committee.

Considered as the highest ranking CPP-NPA-NDF leader in the country today, he is said to be the replacement of Wilma Tiamzon, the NPA leader who was arrested by government forces along with her husband Benito in Cebu in March 2014.

"This victory against criminality is attributed to the concerned efforts of the AFP and PNP and other stakeholders in our common pursuit for peace. This accomplishment is for the innocent people who are victimized by the NPA's senseless violence," AFP chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said.

Silva is under the custody of the PNP-CIDG before turning him over to the court that is handling his case.

Last month, some key communist leaders were arraigned at the Manila Regional Trial Court branch 47 for the massacre in Leyte.

Among those arraigned were former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, Vicente Ladlad, Randal Echaniz, Rafael Baylosis, the Tiamzon couple and several others.

The massacre was allegedly made in their attempt to purge their ranks of suspected military agents. (Sunnex)