THE military said Tuesday, February 18, the number of New People’s Army (NPA) leaders neutralized since January, this year, in Eastern Mindanao area has already reached 10 after another NPA leader identified as Renan Cantos was recently neutralized in a joint military and police operation in the province of Surigao del Sur.
Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) spokesperson, said Cantos, who carries the aliases of Ronin, Loki, Jelong, and Sanjo was arrested over the weekend at Sitio Tagmalinaw in Poblacion Village, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.
Balagtey said Cantos, a commander of a guerrilla unit in Surigao Del Sur, was apprehended by the joint military and police operatives in a checkpoint in Poblacion Village.
He said Cantos has standing warrants of arrest for murder, frustrated murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and robbery.
Cantos was neutralized a day after another NPA ranking leader was killed in five-minute shootout at Sitio Lacobe in Malabuan Village, Makilala, Norte Cotabato.
Brigadier General Adonis Bajao, Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade commander, earlier said the slain NPA leader, Juanita Gore Tacadao, was the logistics and finance officer of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.
Bajao said the shootout ensued when the security personnel of Tacadao opened fire when they noticed the arrival of the joint military and police team who were about to serve warrants of arrest against the NPA ranking leader on February 14.
He said Tacadao’s security fled upon seeing her fell death during the shootout. (SunStar Zamboanga)