A ranking female New People’s Army (NPA) leader was nabbed by militiamen under the 20th Special Forces Company during operations in Sitio Guigang, Barangay Guibo, Siayan town, Zamboanga Del Norte Monday.
Capt. Franco Suelto, 1st Infantry Division spokesperson, said the troops were on routine security patrol when fired upon by a band of NPA guerillas, including arrested rebel leader Mercy B. Maghinay around 12 noon the other day.
Return fire from government troopers forced the NPAs to retreat leaving Maghinay behind along with one .45 caliber pistol, one hand grenade, one shotgun and PHP100,000 in cash.
Suelto said Maghinay is believed to be the top leader of local NPA group “Feliciano Bravo” frequenting the hinterlands of Zamboanga Del Norte.
Her group was also said to be responsible in the burning of construction equipments approximately worth PHP50.3 million pesos in Sitio Gusay, Barangay Titik, Sindangan,Zamboanga Del Norte last Nov. 19.
Last month in Zamboanga Del Norte, the NPA also left a female member behind after an engagement with 10th Infantry Battalion which eventually prompted her to surrender to the operating troops.
“The incident was the latest on the strings of captured or surrendered NPA. After hiding several years in General Santos City, Maghinay was previously arrested by virtue of different warrant of arrest related to her crimes as top leader of NPA in Oct. 5, 2008. She opted to rejoin her comrades which reflects the dwindling and weak leadership of the NPA in Western Mindanao that even previouslycaptured leaders were accepted to lead the group,” Suelto pointed out. PNA