Army nabs suspected NPA leader

The wife of a notorious rebel commander in southern Negros, who is allegedly a political leader of the New People’s Army, was arrested yesterday by soldiers of the 47th Infantry Battalion in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental..

Lt. Col. Rodrigo Sosmena, 47th IB commander, yesterday identified the arrested rebel leader as Mary Jane Magkilat, alias Chin-Chin, who is the head of the Education Bureau of the South West Front Committee of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros.

Magkilat is also the political officer of the SWFC Platoon 2, that is commanded by her husband, Reniel Cellon, alias Kumpol, Sosmena said.

He said Magkilat was cornered by his troops in a house in Sitio Pakaw, Brgy. Bantayan, Kabankalan City., while his troops were on patrol in the place, and were tipped about her presence and her companions.

The arrest of Magkilat came three weeks after alleged Negros NPA commander Romeo Nanta, who was jailed for numerous criminal offenses, was released from jail, after posting P114,800 as bail for robbery-in-band and arson charges.

Sosmena said Magkilat is listed in the military order of battle as the leader of the NPA in southern Negros.

Magkilat was turned over last night to the Kabankalan City Police Station for documentation and further investigations.

Army soldiers, meanwhile, are still searching for Cello who may have been with Magkilat and his armed followers, but he managed to escape.

Cellon was linked by the military to the numerous killings of civilian and their former comrades who were suspected of being government informants, in southern Negros. *GPB


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