A composite team of soldiers and police nabbed a top New People's Army (NPA) leader and his three companions in Quezon City Saturday morning along Aurora Boulevard area in Quezon City.
According to a press release by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM), Benjamin Mendoza was apprehended at around 12:15 a.m. by joint elements of the 2nd Infantry Division, the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police and other AFP units.
He was taken into custody on the strength of two arrest warrants, including one for rebellion before a regional trial court in Lucena City, Quezon, for rebellion.
The army considers Mendoza, 61, the highest NPA leader in the Southern Tagalog Region. He is allegedly the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC) secretary, and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“This is considered yet another significant accomplishment of our troops in the 2ID. We are almost at the closing of curtain of CPP/NPA in Southern Tagalog. We are certain it would be soon," said SOLCOM Commander Maj. General Alan Luga.
His companion Josephine Mendoza, purportedly an Executive Committee member of the STRPC, was also arrested, as well as two still unidentified members, according to Southern Luzon Command spokesperson Col. Generoso L. Bolina, citing reports from 2ID commander Major General Eduardo del Rosario in the statement.
According to the army, Mendoza's involvement with the CPP and the NPA began as a member of a youth organization in Manila, before joining the CPP and becoming a full-time member in the Southern Tagalog region. It also said that Mendoza has been found to have successfully led the most number of NPA operations with the least number of casualties in 1991. — Gian Geronimo/ELR, GMA News