World Bulletin / News Desk
Philippine security forces have arrested a top leader of the country’s Communist Party and its affiliated insurgency during a raid in Metro Manila, according to the military Tuesday.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc told the state-run Philippine News Agency that Adelberto Silva was arrested Monday in Bacoor town, Cavite province, by virtue of an arrest warrant for 15 counts of murder in relation to a 1985 massacre.
Military and police personnel also captured his alleged wife, Sharon Cabusao, and a follower, Isidro De Lima, during the raid at around 11.10 p.m.
Silva is considered the highest-ranking figure of the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed wing the New People's Army (NPA) and its political front the National Democratic Front.
The three suspects did not resist arrest, according to Cabunoc, who added that three rifle grenades, “subversive” documents, improvised bomb parts and several electronic devices were recovered from their possession.
Silva is said to have taken over leadership of the communist groups after NPA leader Wilma Tiamzon was arrested by government forces alongside her husband Benito in Cebu province last year.
Dozens of people – including around 70 victims in Sapang Dako village alone – were reportedly killed in 1985 in an alleged attempt by communist groups to purge their ranks of suspected military "deep penetration agents."
The CPP-NPA has been waging the longest-running communist insurgency in Asia since 1969 that has left tens of thousands of people dead. Its numbers, however, have dwindled from a peak of more than 25,000 armed regulars in the 1980s to its current membership of around 4,000 in 69 of the Philippines' 81 provinces.
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