CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Dec.5 (PIA) -- A joint Army-Police law enforcement operation in Mexico town Friday resulted in the arrest of a high-ranking official of the New People's Army (NPA).
"Jose Bernardino alias Oying is a very notorious NPA Secretary of Central Luzon's Regional White Area Committee. He is at the forefront of extortion, labor organizing and youth recruitment in Region 3's urban areas," Army 7th Infantry Division Commander Major General Alfredo Rosario Jr. said.
He was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by Presiding Judge Paul Attolba Jr. of Regional Trial Court Branch 30 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya dated July 20, 2018 with no bail recommended. He is also listed in the Department of National Defense-Department of the Interior and Local Government National Wanted Person.
"This is proof that no one can evade the long arms of the law and that criminals will sooner than later pay for all the crimes that they committed against the people and the state," Rosario furthered.
Items recovered from Bernardino include a Cal .45 pistol, one hand grenade, a NPA flag, enemy documents with high intelligence value, three cellular phones, three sim cards, and a power bank.
This development came two days after Amanda Echanis alias Waya, a NPA Finance Officer in Cagayan Valley, was arrested by government forces after serving a search warrant in Baggao, Cagayan.
In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines Northern Luzon Command Commander Lieutenant General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. lauded the operating soldiers and police for being steadfast in their duty of dealing the communist terrorist with decisive blows.
"Your security forces' ability to neutralize two key NPA leaders in two days is a manifestation of the effectiveness and efficiency of our intelligence network emplaced across all areas north of Metro Manila," Burgos said.
"Aside from creating leadership vacuum, this series of accomplishments highlight the fact that these enemies of the state no longer enjoy the support of our people which will result to further demoralization and paranoia within their ranks thereby further pushing them on the brink of irreversible collapse, something that the men and women of NOLCOM intend to do before the end of President Duterte's term," he furthered.
The government's informant will be receiving the PhP 4.7 million reward money after completing the established validation protocols.
For his part, Police Regional Director PBGen. Valeriano De Leon urged those who are still actively fighting the government to lay down their arms and embrace other peaceful means to attain their desired changes and to refrain from recruiting workers from poor families and students from state colleges and universities in Central Luzon.
"Our government has several programs to retool you so that you could all become even more productive members of our society," he said. (CLJD-PIA 3)