Troops arrest ranking NPA leader, 2 others

ZAMBOANGA. Joint military and police forces arrest a finance officer and two followers of the New People's Army in an operation Tuesday, May 26, in Matalam, North Cotabato. A photo handout shows the three NPA rebels and the assorted war materials, including landmines, seized from them. (SunStar Zamboanga)

A RANKING and two members of the New People's Army (NPA) were arrested in a joint military and police operation in North Cotabato, officials said Wednesday, May 27.

Brigadier General Roberto Capulong, commander of the Army's 602nd Infantry Brigade, identified those arrested as Cirilo Amit, the NPA's finance officer in North Cotabato; Alex Zurital Sr.; and Roberto Aspura.

Capulong said the three were nabbed around noon Tuesday, May 26, in Purok Kamon in New Alemodian village, Matalam, North Cotabato.

"The operation was conducted in response to the information that said (NPA) personalities were seen in the area," Capulong said.

Seized from the three NPA rebels were a caliber .45 pistol with two magazines and 17 rounds of ammunition, one homemade revolver with 24 rounds 5.56-mm ammunition, improvised explosive devices fashioned as landmines, six cellular phones, one media pad, one hard drive, one power bank, one USB, one card reader, 12 SIM cards, two cellphone chargers, one AM/FM radio, cash amounting to P10,435, assorted documents, assorted identification cards, assorted medicines, and personal belongings.

"Our troops, in close collaboration with and support from the PNP (Philippine National Police), intensify security campaigns to neutralize terrorists and other lawless elements in Central Mindanao," said Major General Diosdado Carreon, Joint Task Force Central commander.

The arrested NPA rebels were brought to the headquarters of the Army's 90th Infantry Battalion for custodial debriefing.

"The armed forces continuously intensify combat and intelligence operations to thwart the nefarious activities of terrorists that avert economic development," said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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