FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City- A top ranking NPA leader was arrested in a joint law enforcement operations conducted by government forces in a shopping mall at 1:00pm today, Tuesday.
Major Harold Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that Army intel operatives supported the CIDG- NCR policemen in serving the arrest warrant on NPA leader Reynante Gamara a.k.a. Mike, who is wanted for the abduction and killing of Pfc Eriberto Eclavea in 2006.
He was collared in Star Mall in Las Pinas City by virtue of the Warrant of Arrest CC No 11-3248 for kidnapping and murder, signed by Judge Rodolfo Obnamia Jr of Br 64 RTC, 4rth Judicial Region in Mauban, Quezon. The police operatives also arrested his companion, a certain Santiago Balleta.
Gamara led the group of NPA rebels which abducted Eclavea in a farm house in Cagsiay Tres, Mauban town in 2007.
He also allegedly ordered the killing of the soldier through the 'Kangaroo Court' system of the rebel group.
In 2008, a self-confessed NPA member who was a follower of Gamara, led the soldiers to a shallow grave where Eclavea's body was buried. The same person testified the involvement of Gamara in the gruesome crime, leading to the issuance of an arrest warrant.
According to Cabunoc, the arrest of Gamara is a 'serious blow' to the NPA rebels who are gradually weakened by the series of arrests and mass surrender of their armed followers.
"Their organization is crippled by the arrest of their top ranking leaders which is attributed to the cooperation of the civilians and even some of their disgruntled followers," said Cabunoc.
The arrest of Gamara followed the arrest of 6 NPA leaders in a clash with government forces in Sta Rosa town in Nueva Ecija on March 28.
Three of the arrested suspects are among the most ranking leaders of the communist movement's armed wing in Central Luzon. They were identified as Efren Delalamo a.k.a. Baste, overall consultant of the Central Luzon Regional Committee; Carla Bautista a.k.a. Joy, political instructor of CLRC and Andres Ely a.k.a. Marco, the Finance Officer of the same rebel group.
In Malaybalay City, 45 members of the NPA's Guerilla Front 6 flocked to the Army's 403rd Brigade to formally surrender after several years of involvement in the futile armed struggle.
Spearheaded by its leader, Rene Dal-anay, the mass surrender was inspired by 80 of their former comrades who laid down their arms also in the same Army unit in November 2011.