MANILA Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., lauded law enforcement authorities and the concerned citizen who helped in the arrest of ranking communist leader Vicente Ladlad early Thursday.
I would like to commend the swift response of the authorities and the concerned citizen for the arrest of these notorious personalities. The people's vigilance has been an important aspect of our security operations and has been valuable in the fight against terrorism, Galvez said in a statement.
The AFP chief also stressed the importance of cooperation in the security sector to curb terror groups and their leaders.
The AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) in its unrelenting pursuit of peace and prosperity will be hitting them in all fronts. The apprehension of Ladlad will create a leadership vacuum in their organization which will speed up the process of defeating insurgency in the country, Galvez added.
He added that since the assumption of President Rodrigo Duterte, 54 prominent communist personalities have been neutralized. This has resulted in the disruption of internal coordination of the rebel group from the national level down to the New People's Army (NPA) platoons.
The leadership vacuum led the insurgents to fall complacent, causing the stagnation and decline in their major fields of work in launching the armed struggle, the AFP chief added.
Ladlad is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Central Committee, Head of its National United Front Commission (NUFC), and consultant to its now defunct peace negotiations.
Ladlad and his aides, Alberto and Virginia Villamor, were arrested in his alleged safehouse in DoAa Tomasa Subdivision, Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City early Thursday.
Found in his safehouse were one AK-47, one M-16A1, one Colt Mk IV, four hand grenades, and assorted ammunition.
Ladlad is known for his involvement in the multiple murder cases for the purging of communist members tagged by the CPP leadership as alleged government spies in their organization.
At least 67 bodies were unearthed in September 2006 in what is now dubbed as the Inopacan, Leyte massacre involving the Southern Leyte Front of the New People's Army (NPA).
Ladlad was among prominent names in the CPP who were charged with multiple counts of murder due to the Inopacan massacre.
Also charged for the crime was Adelberto Silva, head of the National Organization Department and Secretary General of the CPP. He was arrested in Laguna in October. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency