CAMP GENERAL MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — Combined elements from the AFP’s Intelligence Units, Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Battalion, and the Philippine National Police apprehended the Secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, the highest NPA organ in Regions 4A and 4B, during a joint operation at around 1:30 p.m. Monday along Sta Cruz Highway, Barangay Pagsawitan, Sta Cruz, Laguna.
According to Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the 202nd Infantry (UNIFIER) Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, the government’s security forces apprehended Edicel R Legaspi alias Joventud Del Fierro together with his four companions while they were onboard a Suzuki Swift travelling toward the direction of Pagsanjan.
“Our troops have so far identified his companions as Edilberto Silva, a released NDF consultant and current head of their National Organizing Department (NOD); alias Oyong, alias Wena and alias Batu, all NOD Staffs,” Brigadier General Burgos added.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan S Manio, Commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion, said that the joint operations resulted to the recovery of two caliber .45 pistols, four hand grenades, one claymore type IED, magazines with ammunition and enemy documents.
“The search of the vehicle was witnessed by the Barangay Officials of Brgy Pagsawitan,” said LTC Manio. He added that the apprehended personalities have been turned-over to the custody of CIDG NCR who will be filing appropriate legal charges.
Major General Rhoderick M Parayno, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said that the arrest resulted to leadership vacuum on the part of the NPA terrorists which will speed-up the process of defeating insurgency in the Southern Tagalog.
“The government will be unrelenting in our pursuit for peace and prosperity,” said Major General Parayno. He added that “we have been hitting them at all fronts and keeping them on the run, thus, I urge the few remaining members of the NPAs to give up their arms and return to mainstream society because sooner or later we will catch them.”
The apprehended personalities will be transported to Camp Crame where they will be detained.