The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted a joint operation that led to the arrest of an alleged top-ranking official of the New People’s Army (NPA) in her hideout in Lala town, this province on Sunday.
Police and Army operatives arrested Teresita Lapuz Naul, alias Tessie or Bessy, secretary of the NPA’s "Regional White Area Committee (RWAC)” under the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
She was arrested by virtue of warrants of arrest for her crimes of destructive arson, including two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. All cases were filed with no fixed bail issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.
Naul was arrested by the joint forces of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Mechanized Infantry Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 10 and Police Regional Office (PRO) 10.
Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of 4ID, said the suspect attempted to flee at the backyard of her sister’s house in Purok 3, Barangay San Manuel, Lala, Lanao del Norte during the serving of the warrants of arrest. She was captured hiding in the rice field nearby and was later brought to CIDG-10 office for proper disposition.
The 4ID made a link in Nual's previous exploits through the revelation of former rebel identified only as "Kris," a former liaison of WAC-NCMRC. Kris said the suspect was a financer within the region and was active until 2019.
“Niadtong 2019, gitagaan ko ni Nanay Tessie, ang financer sa region, og PHP25,000 aron ipalit og mga tambal ug gamit para sa mga myembro sa SRC (sub-regional committee) 2, NCMRC (Last 2019, Nanay Tessie, the finance officer of the region, gave me PHP25,000 intended for medical and other supplies of the members of SRC 2, NCMRC.),” she said.
In another statement, a certain "Joy (real name withheld)," former Political Officer (PO) of SRC4, NCMRC, said Naul was even involved in progressive human rights group believed to be front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA.
“Niadtong PO pako, mismong si Nanay Tessie, ang Secretary General sa Karapatan-NMR, ang mihatag kanako og PHP50,000 aron ibayad sa pagkaon, ug sakyanan sa hakuton nga mga tawo alang sa rally sa Cagayan de Oro City(When I was still a PO, Nanay Tessie, the Secretary General of Karapatan-NMR, personally gave me PHP50,000 purposely to support the food and mobility requirements of the anti-government rally in Cagayan de Oro City),” she said.
Records provided by the 4ID indicated that on July 4, 2018, Naul together with 12 others were also arrested in General Santos City while holding series of meetings to plan for anti-government activities. They were charged with violation of Presidential Decree 1829 or obstruction of justice during the arrest of Francis "FX/Kiang" Madria, who has standing warrants of arrest for kidnapping, kidnapping with murder, murder, attempted murder and frustrated murder; and Maria "Del" Limbaga Unabia, who has standing warrants of arrest for murder, frustrated murder and multiple murder.
“I laud the personnel involved in the joint AFP-PNP law enforcement operation which resulted in the successful arrest of Tessie. This will have an important impact on the morale and operational capability of NCMRC since she holds a significant position by providing financial and logistical support to the armed group. I urge all the CTG (CPP-NPA Terrorist Groups) members and supporters, abandon your lost cause and join the government in attaining lasting peace and sustainable development in Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions,” he said.
3 NPA fighters surrender in Bukidnon
Meanwhile, three alleged NPA guerrillas surrendered in Impasugong and Cabanglasan towns, in Bukidnon last week.
The two surrendered to the office of Impasugong Mayor Anthony A. Uy who also heads the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC), and the other one surrendered to Reynard Encarguez, barangay chairman of Iba in Cabanglasan town and the head of the barangay TF-ELAC there.
One of the surrenderers, an alias "Marlboro," said it was hard for them to become guerrillas hiding in the mountainous areas because they could not provide help and resources to their families regularly.
“It is very hard to live in the mountain with the rebels. The foods and promised livelihood were not enough to accommodate the needs of my family. And also due to the high demands of our commanders, I was forced to operate day and night without time to rest and no food to eat. It’s for this reason that I took courage to surrender to the government and live peacefully,” he said.
Lt. Col. Edgardo V Talaroc Jr. commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Battalion is calling on the remaining rebels to surrender and avail of government's amnesty program.
“I am calling the attention of the remaining NPA members to go down and return to the government side to live peacefully together with your family. We have the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) waiting for all of you),” Talaroc said.
The former rebels will be enrolled in the E-CLIP to avail the benefits offered by the government to include firearm remuneration, immediate livelihood assistance, among others.
Source: Philippines News Agency