Another senior communist rebel held in Philippines
The Philippine military said Sunday it had detained a senior communist rebel leader, the latest in a series of arrests or killings which have damaged one of the world’s longestrunning insurgencies.
Military agents and police arrested Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, a central committee member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), at a home in Iloilo City on the central island of Panay on Saturday, military spokesmen said.
They seized two hand grenade.
A military statement identified Bocala as the secretary in charge of communist rebel forces in Panay, a largely rural island with a population of over 4 million.
“Her arrest will (cause) another vacuum in the leadership of the CPPNPA organization that has been rocked by successive arrests and neutralization efforts,” said military spokesman Col. Noel Detoyato in a statement
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He credited “months of intelligence work” for the capture, adding that Bocala would face charges of murder and rebellion.
The suspect reportedly had a bounty of 7.8 million pesos (US$173,400) on her head.
The CPP and its 4,000-strong armed wing, the NPA or New People’s Army, has for 46 years waged a Maoist guerrilla campaign which has claimed tens of thousands of lives, largely in rural areas mired in poverty.