An alleged Communist rebel was arrested in an inter-agency operation in Barangay Nongnong, Butuan City on Feb. 13.
The suspect was identified as Emeliano Bustillo Legayna, who went by aliases Bukas/Sedoy/Turko/Abba, who was arrested based on the information provided by the community.
Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of EastMinCom, said the arrest warrant (No. 1988-2019) was served against the suspect for violation of RA 10591 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition) by the combined elements of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, 402nd Brigade, and Butuan City Police Office.
They also seized a .45 caliber pistol and a grenade from the suspect.
Legayna was supposedly in charged with extorting businesses and residents for the NPA’s revolutionary tax. He was also reportedly the leader of the Militia ng Bayan in West Butuan.
Maj. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, congratulated the soldiers and the police officers for bringing down the suspect.
“Let us start the whole of nation approach by continuously working, collaborating, and converging our effort with our counterparts in the security sector in addressing the call of our communities who are tired of the NPA’s extortion and intimidation,” the EastMinCom chief said.
Meanwhile, Santos further urged the remaining NPA members to surrender in line with the Valentine’s Day celebration yesterday.
“Surrender while there is a chance,” he said.
Lt. Col. Rhojun Rosales, commander of the 39 Infantry Battalion, reported on Wednesday that four rebels surrendered in New Baguio, Makilala, North Cotabato.
Rosales said two of them were leaders while two were regular fighters of the NPA. They brought with them three M14 rifles, one M16 rifle, one Bushmaster, two rifle grenades, one C-type Claymore mine, and one two-way radio.
“We call on our peace-loving communities to continue to assist and help our units by facilitating those NPAs who want to surrender,” Santos said.
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