DAVAO CITY – An alleged leader of communist guerillas was arrested Monday by a joint police and Army operation in a checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril this city.

First Lieutenant Vergel Lacambra, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division identified the arrested person as Vincent Estrada, allegedly the “head of the Instructor’s Bureau of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army”,

Lacambra said Estrada was arrested with a certain Zacarias De Los Santos Mancias, Jr in the Task Force Davao checkpoint in Sirawan.

He said the two were on board an Isuzu Bighorn SUV (sports utility vehicle) with plate number BDV-684 “by virtue of a warrant of arrest docketed as Criminal Case Number 7610 for the crimes of kidnapping and serious illegal detention issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 3, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province.”

Lacambra said that they found one .45 caliber pistol and two fragmentation grenades in the possession of Estrada and companion.

He said that Estrada’s arrest added up to the arrest last year of other “top NPA leaders” Dominiciano Muya, Felix Armodia, Jordan Donillo, Raunil N Mortejo, and Jasmin C. Badilla.

However, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines said that Muya was a “development worker” and the agriculturist of over a hundred agricultural schools ran by the group and Manobo organization. Salugpungan Ta’ Tanu Igkanugon (STTI).

Lacambra said they acted on orders of Lieutenant General Aurelio Baladad, the commander of the Armed Force’s Eastern Mindanao Command, to “hunt down armed lawless elements especially the leaders of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee and the Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.” (davaotoday.com)

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