World Bulletin/News Desk
A suspected female member of a communist insurgent group has been arrested in the southern Philippines.
Inspector Dahlan Tidal Samuddin, the officer-in-charge of Regional Police Information Office 9, said Sunday that Maris Munoz Y Bejec – a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) - was charged with rebellion after being captured in a joint operation by security and intelligence forces.
"The suspected person was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant … with no bail recommended,” Samuddin said. He added that she is temporarily being detained at a police station in Zamboanga Del Sur province.
The arrest follows that of a suspected high-ranking NPA leader - known as “Pediong” or “Nasyo” - at a checkpoint in central Negros Oriental province late Friday.
Maj. Ray Tiongson, spokesman for the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division based in Capiz, said the suspect had led NPA operations in Negros Island’s southeast that had resulted in the death and injury of innocent civilians. He was reportedly involved in the killing of farmer Narciso Bantoto Jr. in Siaton town earlier this year.
A hand grenade, an ATM card and identification cards bearing different names were recovered from the suspect's possession.
Meanwhile, 54 NPA members led by 34-year-old Emboy Casalgayaw surrendered Friday to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Northern Mindanao region.
Casalgayaw, who had risen through the NPA’s ranks during his 17 years in the group, said he had surrendered so he could send his children to school.
AFP Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista said those who had surrendered would receive financial and livelihood assistance.
Since March 1969, the NPA- the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines - has been waging one of Asia’s longest running insurgencies in the country.
The CPP refers to the NPA as "the tax enforcement agency of the people’s revolutionary government" as it collects "revolutionary taxes" – especially from foreign-owned enterprises - in the regions where it operates.
The communist insurgency has claimed more than 3,000 lives over the past eight years, according to the military.
The government signed a landmark deal with the country’s largest rebel outfit - the Moro Islamic Liberation Front - in March, however formal talks with the communist party and the NPA have stalled amid mutual disagreement.
Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2014, 13:19