THE arrest of top communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon Saturday was the result of a years-long manhunt by the military and the police. And then, a bit of luck.
“Natiyempuhan lang,” said one of the agents who took part in the operation.
The Tiamzons were aboard a Hyundai Starex Van and their companions riding on a Toyota Innova when they were flagged down by a police-military checkpoint in Cebu, wher they had stayed since October last year. They were supposed to go to
on Saturday, the source said. Davao
The couple and five others who were arrested with them were flown to
on an Air Force Fokker plane and brought to the Criminal Investigation and
Detection Group in Saturday. Camp
In a briefing after the capture, Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said the Tiamzons had been on the run, evading authorities and hiding in isolated areas but also staying in posh villages in Metro Manila.
Tiamzon mostly stayed in the Bicol region at the height of the insurgency in the 1980s during the incumbency of the late Felimon Lagman, then said to be the overall leader of the New People’s Army.
A crackdown on the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA hierarchy forced Tiamzon to seek refuge in the Bicol region for some time, Bautista said.
In Bicol, Tiamzon held a series of plenums, formulating ways to thwart the military offensive. The NPA launched a series of attacks against military and police personnel in Metro Manila an attempt to divert the military’s campaign in the countryside, Bautista added.
Tiamzon was responsible for forming the Alex Boncayao Brigade, the NPA hit squad that was responsible for the series of assassinations of military and police officials during the administration of President Corazon Aquino.
Branded as a hardliner in the organization, Tiamzon held briefings in Bicol and Quezon province, particularly in the Bondoc peninsula under the command of Gregorio Rosal, also head of the Melito Glor or Banahaw Command.
When Rosal died of a heart attack in 2011, Tiamzon disappeared until his surprise visit to his ancestral home in
in early 1989 when his wife Wilma was arrested by authorities and jailed in . Camp Crame
Tiamzon stayed for a while in Metro Manila to plan the escape of Wilma on Dece. 25, 1989, the military said.
Tiamzon, 63 was born on March 20, 1951 and studied at the University of the
with a course of Bachelor of Science of Chemical Engineering and a BA in
He was secretary of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee that was responsible for the massacre of civilians in 1985 in Inopacan,
When CPP Chairman Emeritus Jose Ma. Sison fled to the Neiterhlands, Tiamzon called the shots on almost all major party activities.
His wife Wilma, 61 she was previously the CPP’s secretary of the National Peasant Commission; executive committee member of the Regional Trade Union Bureau; finance officer of the CPP; and member of the Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan.
She was captured on Oct. 4, 1989 but after two months in detention in
she was able to escape on Dec. 25, 1989. Camp Crame