A top-ranking Communist rebel of Northern Mindanao was successfully apprehended by the joint AFP-PNP operation at a safe house in Purok 3, Barangay San Manuel, Lala, Lanao del Norte on Sunday early morning.
Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad, the Public Affairs Office chief of 4th Infantry Division, identified her as Teresita Lapuz Naul, secretary of Regional White Area Committee, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
Trinidad said Naul was arrested by virtue of the warrants of arrest for her crimes of destructive arson with criminal case number 6524, kidnapping and serious illegal detention with Criminal Case no. 6525, and another kidnapping and serious illegal detention with criminal case no. 6527, all with no fixed bail issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.
She was arrested in a joint operation of soldiers of elements of the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) X, and Police Regional Office (PRO) X.
Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the 4th ID, said, “Teresita Naul Alias Tessie/Bessy attempted to flee at the backyard of her sister’s house in Purok 3, Barangay San Manuel, Lala, Lanao del Norte during the serving of the warrants of arrest.
“She was captured by apprehending authorities after being discovered hiding in the nearest rice field, and was later brought to CIDG-10 office for proper disposition,” Gacal said.
Alias Kris, a former liaison of WAC, NCMRC, said that last year, “Nanay Tessie, the finance officer of the region, gave me P25,000 intended for medical and other supplies of the members of SRC 2, NCMRC.”
Alias Joy, a former political officer, also identified the suspect as the secretary general of Karapatan-NMR, who personally gave her P50,000 “to support the food and mobility requirements of the anti-government rally in Cagayan de Oro City.
It can be recalled that on July 4, 2018, Naul and 12 others were also arrested in General Santos City while holding a series of meetings for anti-government activities.
The military said they violated Presidential Decree (PD) 1829 or obstruction of justice during the arrest of Francis Madria alias FX/KIANG who had standing warrants of arrest for kidnapping, kidnapping with murder, murder, attempted murder, and frustrated murder; and Maria Limbaga Unabia, who had standing warrants of arrest for murder, frustrated murder, and multiple murder.
“This will have an important impact on the morale and operational capability of NCMRC since she holds a significant position by providing financial and logistical support to the armed group,” Gacal added.