A TOP leader of the communist rebel movement in Surigao del Norte and two others were captured by government security forces on Monday afternoon during a pursuit operation in a remote village in Claver town in the said province, a police official said on Wednesday.
Supt. Michael Lozada, the spokesman for the Caraga police, in a report sent to Camp Crame in Quezon City (Metro Manila) identified the arrested New People’s Army leader in Surigao del Norte as Jonathan Cadaan Peñaflor alias “Jojo Peñaflor,” of legal age and a resident of Purok-7 in Barangay (village) Ladgaran in Claver town.
The police official said Peñaflor was captured by a joint team of the Regional Intelligence Division Tracker Team and the Regional Public Safety Battalion based in Caraga during a manhunt operation in Claver town.
Lozada said in the report that Peñaflor, along with two others, identified as Lurkan and Albert, were captured at around 2 p.m. on Monday after government forces swooped down on Peñaflor’s rented home in Claver town.
The police official said Peñaflor was said to be the commanding officer of the Sangay sa Partido Platoon 21C, Guerilla Front Committee 21 of the North Eastern Mindanao Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA.
Lozada said Peñaflor was arrested by government forces based on a warrant issued by Judge Emmanuel Escatron of the Regional Trial Court Branch 30 of the 10th Judicial Region of Surigao City on December 27, 2013 for murder.
The police official said in the report the arresting government security forces recovered from Peñaflor’s house a Combat Commander Colt and Para-Ordnance .45 caliber pistols and ammunition. .
Lozada said the suspect had been under surveillance for a year, and they received information a week ago that Peñaflor was in Claver town before he was arrested.
The police official said the raiding team reported that Peñaflor, who had been linked to several atrocities committed by the rebels in the region, did not resist arrest when he was captured.
Peñaflor’s arrest came a few days after government forces captured two high profile leaders of the NPA during an operation by police and military forces in a suburban village in Butuan City in Agusan del Sur.
Arrested by police and military forces in Sitio Lamusig in Barangay Tungao in Butuan City were Rodolfo Bungolto alias Itom/Loloy, Danilo Acania, Jek-jek Borja and Tata Borja, alias Anatalio Pison
They were arrested by joint operatives of the police and military at about 5 a.m. on Friday last week.
Bungolto is the commanding officer of the Militia ng Bayan and team leader of Guerilla Front Committee 4A Sparu unit, while Acania is the former deputy secretary of GFC 4A and commanding officer of the Policard NPA platoon.
The two others, Jek-jek Borja and Tata Borja, were Militia ng Bayan members and were arrested based on a warrant of arrest for frustrated murder and multiple murder, Lozada previously said.