From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 25): NPA leader nabbed in S. Cotabato
A team of Army and police personnel arrested on Monday evening a suspected leader of the New People's Army (NPA) in an operation in a village in Surallah town in South Cotabato province.
Senior Supt. Nestor Salcedo, South Cotabato police director, identified the suspect as Ofelia Fronteras Buanho alias "Dikay", 55, alleged secretary of the NPA's Guerilla Front 73.
Salcedo said the suspect was nabbed at about 9 p.m. in Zone 1 of Barangay Libertad, Surallah by joint elements of the South Cotabato Mobile Force Company, Army's 27th Infantry Battalion (IB), and the Surallah municipal police.
Buanho's arrest was based on a standing warrant for rebellion, frustrated murder and violation of Republic Act No. 9516 or illegal possession of explosives, the police official said.
Listed as a resident of Kilometer 82 in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Buanho was initially detained at the Surallah municipal police station but was transferred to the South Cotabato provincial jail in Koronadal City on Tuesday morning.
Lt. Col. Jones Otida, 27IB commanding officer, said in a radio interview that the arrest of the suspect was a major blow to NPA units in the area.
Otida described Buanho as among the top leaders of the NPA's Front 73, which mainly operates in South Cotabato and parts of the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.
He said their operations are ongoing against the rebels in the hinterland villages of the province, especially in the upper valley area.