3 NPA leaders arrested in Mindanao
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Three leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) were arrested in separate operations by security forces in Mindanao last Friday, the military said yesterday.

Two of the suspects were nabbed in Davao del Sur while the other was caught in Bukidnon, said 1/Lt. Vergel Lacambra, spokesman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID).

Lacambra said Raunil Mortejo and Jasmin Badilla were arrested by military and police officers in Barangay Sinaragan in Matanao, Davao del Sur.

Mortejo’s and Badilla’s arrests were based on warrants issued by a Compostela Valley court for kidnapping, serious illegal detention and robbery.

“The arrest will create a leadership vacuum in the NPA’s Southern Mindanao regional committee,” said Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of the 10th  ID, in a text message.  

Lacambra said Mortejo, who uses the aliases “Nestor” and “Angkol,” was the head of a rebel unit whose members snatched a soldier of the Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Monkayo, Compostela Valley in 2010.

He said Mortejo’s group was tagged in the murder of two soldiers of the Army’s 67th IB in Baganga, Davao Oriental last October.

Badilla, who uses the alias “Antali,” has been accused of robbing and intimidating a leader of a cooperative in Mabini town, also in Compostela Valley.

At the time of their arrest, Mortejo served as a leader of the NPA-Pulang Bagani Command while Badilla was the medical chief of the rebel group’s Southern Mindanao regional committee, Lacambra said. 

Meanwhile, Reboy Gandinao, said to be the leader of the NPA’s Sangay ng Partido Sa Platoon, was arrested by police and military forces in Barangay Lumintao in Quezon town, Bukidnon, said Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command.

Balagtey said Gandinao, who is facing murder and frustrated murder charges, yielded a caliber .45 pistol and a mobile phone.

Gandinao is being held at the Valencia City police station.          

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