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Ranking NPA medical staff nabbed

A high ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in a raid in his alleged hideout in Barangay Catalunan Pequeño, Talomo District on Friday at 2:15 p.m., the police regional director revealed yesterday.

Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, the regional director, identified the arrested suspect as Noel Huerbana Presilda, alias Nono/Oslek, 54, of Shanghai Village, Barangay Matina Aplaya, Talomo District.

Presilda is an NPA medical staff, currently assigned with the Komisyon Mindanao (KomMid) and the Regional Operational Command of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

Morales, in a press briefing yesterday at the Police Regional Office 11, said Presilda was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest issued by Judge Janet Cabalona of Regional Trial Court Branch 33 in Samar in a murder case with no recommended bail bond.

Presilda is charged for his alleged involvement in an ambush in Samar in 2012. No further details were released.

Morales said operatives raided the safe house located at the corner of Davao-Bukidnon Road and Greenhills Subdivision in Catalunan Pequeño.

Participating the operations were agents of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Regional Intelligence Division, Davao City Police Office’s Talomo Police Station, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, 1003rd Infantry Brigade and Task Force Davao of the 10th Infantry Division. Officers from the Police Regional Office in Region 8 also joined in the operation.

The police director said Presilda is a significant personality of KomMid because he is considered as a season cadre who provides medical support to wounded rebels since the early 80s.

After joining the underground movement sometime in 1980, Presilda was tasked as medical staff of the SMRC. He was later designated as national medical staff member and tasked to facilitate the conduct of medical training in the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring regions. He was re-assigned to SMRC in later years.

The regional police director said the arrest of Presilda will create a big blow to the communist movement because it will result to a big vacuum in the group.

In an interview during his media presentation, Presilda told reporters that he was no longer with the NPA for years now.

He admitted he served as medic of the NPA since 1983. He denied participating in any armed confrontation or recruitment.

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