Top female NPA leader falls in Laguna
SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna – Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) captured Tuesday night a high-ranking female leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) communist terrorist group in this city.
Col. Alex Rillera, commander of the 202nd Brigade which has operational jurisdiction in the area, said Antonia Tonog Setias-Dizon alias “Tonet” was nabbed during a joint law enforcement operation here around 11 p.m.
Rillera said military record showed that Dizon was designated as head of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-National Organizing Department (NOD) when her comrade Adelberto Silva was arrested in Sta. Cruz, Laguna last year.
He said Dizon was arrested by virtue of a warrant for the crime of murder, with Criminal Case no. 5965 issued by Acting Executive Judge Lou A. Nueva of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 7 in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.
The government forces also seized from Dizon a caliber .380 pistol, 48 live ammunitions, 12 blasting caps and wires, mobile phones, hard disk drives, USB flash drive, other war material and enemy documents with high intelligence value.
The female NPA leader was apprehended at her safe house on Block 2, Lot 12, Artemis Street, Villa Olympia Subdivision in this city through a warrant issued by RTC Executive Judge Cynthia Mariño-Ricablanca in Santa Cruz, Laguna.
In a statement released by the Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) in Camp Gen. Mateo Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., the 2ID commander who has jurisdiction over Southern Tagalog Regions, said: “the arrest of alias ‘Tonet’ is another major blow to the NPA terrorists’ movement.”
“This will create a leadership vacuum that will further speed up their imminent defeat,” Burgos said.
He attributed the series of NPA leaders’ apprehension to the “whole-of-nation approach” of President Rodrigo Duterte through Executive Order No. 70 which created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict” (NTF-ELCAC) to eradicate the 50-year-old insurgency.
“The task force has eroded the mass base support which these terrorists used to enjoy in the past,” he added.
Burgos also commended the combined operating troops for their “collaboration and synergy in attaining our common aspirations of prosperity and development in this part of the country.”
He also stressed the military’s commitment to be relentless in finally ending the NPA insurgency “so that we may finally achieve peace which our people truly deserve.” (PNA / )