THE LEADER of a farmers’ organization tagged as having links with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), was arrested in a joint operation conducted by the Police Regional Office (PRO)-13 (Caraga) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday.
In a statement, PRO-13 director, Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr. identified the suspect as Proceso Torralba, the chair of Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte (UMAN).
Torralba was arrested in the manhunt operation conducted by the elements of PRO-13 Regional Intelligence Unit, Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office Intelligence Branch, Butuan City Police Station 4, the Mobile Force Company, and operatives from the 42nd Military Intelligence Company of the AFP in Purok 3, Barangay Bobon here.
Esquivel said Torralba was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Fernando R. Fudalan Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur last January 30, 2020 for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
UMAN, according to the military official, has links with the communist movement under the White Area Committee (Wacom).
“Torralba was among the NPA members who raided the New Tubigon 8th Special Force Company Patrol Base in Purok 1, Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur last December 19, 2018 and carted away assorted firearms and kidnapped the two AFP cadres,” Esquivel said in the statement.
He commended all the personnel involved in the successful law enforcement operation, saying the arrest was the result of the good relationship between the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) with the active support of the community.
Esquivel also urged the remaining NPA rebels in the area to surrender, avail of the programs being offered by the government and start renewed lives.
“Together, let us put an end to this local communist armed conflict to attain long and lasting peace in Caraga Region,” he said. (By Alexander Lopez)