CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – Joint elements from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in Western Visayas arrested today, August 1, the top leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Panay.
Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala alias CONCHA/ETANG/MERYL/MARTHA was arrested at 6:15a.m. today in Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City by virtue of a warrant of arrest for murder with criminal case nr 1494 issued by Regional Trial Court 6, Branch 2 in Kalibo, Aklan.
Bocala, is the Secretary of the Komiteng-Rehiyonal Panay (KR-P) of the CPP-NPA. As regional head, she is responsible for the atrocities and violence perpetrated by the NPA in Panay.
“The arrest of Bocala is a serious blow to the CPP-NPA hierarchy. This is a victory for the people of Panay who desire for a just and lasting peace,” said Colonel Eric Uchida, Commander of 301st Brigade in Panay.
“The victims of CPP-NPA atrocities are expecting that justice will be served with the arrest of Bocala. Meanwhile. security forces will remain vigilant to insure that the local communities are protected,” Uchida added.
Government authorities recovered from Bocala a Cal. 45 pistol, a Cal. 22, hand grenade, several ammunitions and voluminous subversive documents.
The top NPA leader reportedly enjoyed a lavish life in the city while her comrades who are still in the mountains are living a life full of hardship.
The successful arrest can be attributed to the convergence of efforts among the AFP, PNP, other stakeholders in the security sector and the local community.
Maj Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division for his part said that “We reiterate our call for the CPP-NPA members to abandon the armed struggle and rejoin mainstream society to live productive lives together with their families.”
The arrested NPA leader is now under the custody of the PNP Regional Office-6 for proper disposition of her case.
Source: 3RD INFANTRY (SPEARHEAD) DIVISION, PHILIPPINE ARMY, DIVISION PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE