Alleged finance officer of NPA in Mindanao nabbed in Butuan

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 03 Feb) — An alleged finance officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested, “with the help of the community, Friday afternoon in Butuan City, the Eastern Mindanao Command said in a press release.

Leonida Guao alias Lea, Ligaya and Laya was arrested during a joint 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army – PNP CARAGA Inter-agency Law Enforcement Operations in Brgy Bading, Butuan City on February 2, 2018 at around 3 p.m. “with the help of the community.”

Guao “handles the group’s extortion money in Mindanao,” Eastmincom said.

It also said  Guao was  nabbed by virtue of a warrant of arrest for murder, issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch-7 in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

No other details were provided on how Guao was arrested.

Leonida Guao alias Lea, Ligaya and Laya (right) alleged finance officer of the New People’s Army in Mindanao, was arrested in Brgy Bading, Butuan City on February 2, 2018 at around 3 p.m. “with the help of the community,” the Eastern Mindanao Command said. Photo courtesy of Eastmincom’s 402nd Infantry Brigade

Major Ezra Balagtey, chief of the Public Information Office of Eastmincom, told MindaNews that the community helped authorities in arresting Guao through “information and monitoring.”

Guao is now under the custody of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- Caraga.

Eastmincom chief Lt General Benjamin Madrigal expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the different government agencies and the community that led to Guao’s arrest.

“The arrest gave justice to the victims of their atrocities, particularly those Indigenous Peoples they brutally killed, the common people who have been victimized by their extortion and terroristic activities, and those who have lost their livelihood brought about by their arson and sabotage activities. This arrest is a result of the cooperation of the whole community and the different law enforcement agencies. It also proves that the terrorists cannot run away from the long arm of the law, Madrigal said.

President Rodrigo Duterte called off the talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) in November last year. The NDF represents the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA in the peace negotiations.

In Deecember, Duterte issued a proclamation declaring the CPP nad NPA as terrorist organizations.

Guao’s arrest came two days after authorities arrested NDF peace panel consultant  Rafael Baylosis and his companion, Guillermo Roque, in Quezon City on Wednesday. (MindaNews)