NDF consultant, rebel leader captured in Davao City
DAVAO CITY – Government soldiers on Monday arrested 2 senior leaders of the rebel group New People’s Army in Davao City in southern Philippines, and one of them is a consultant to the communist peace panel.
The military’s Eastern Mindanao Command confirmed the arrest of the duo - Ariel Arbitrario, who was among the 20 rebel leaders freed from jail by President Duterte so they can participate in the peace talks; and Roderick Mamuyac, a regional liaison officer of the New People’s Army in southern Mindanao.
Major Ezra Balagtey, an army spokesman, said Arbitrario is a secretary of a guerrilla front in Mindanao. He said Mamuyac is wanted by authorities for murder. They were intercepted at a checkpoint in Sirawan village in Toril district.
“Our action was in response to information coming from concerned citizens regarding the whereabouts of a criminal who is at large. It so happened that Mamuyac was traveling with Arbitrario,” he said.
Balagtey said the both Arbitrario and Mamuyac were handed over the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group where they are being investigated.
The arrest occurred just a day after Duterte – who tagged the NPA as terrorists - cancelled the peace talks with the communist rebels following the series of attacks by rebels that killed 4 soldiers in Mindanao. Three other soldiers were also seized by rebels recently.
Communist leaders said those released from prison to join the peace talks as consultants have immunity from arrest and protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees. The NPA has been fighting the democratic government for the establishment of a communist state in the country. (Rhoderick Beñez)