Top NPA leader in Visayas arrested

DUMAGUETE CITY, Oct. 11 (PIA) — A top leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) who led the armed movement in Leyte, Bohol and Negros provinces was arrested in Mandaue City, Cebu by joint forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Oct. 5, 2012. Calixto Vistal (alias Cocoy, Fred, and Isom) was arrested together with his legal wife, Jimmyliza Badayos (alias Jill, Cecile, and Mayet).

Vistal was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant for murder as presided by Judge Roderick Maxino of Branch 32 of the Regional Trial Court in Dumaguete City. His wife, Badayos, was arrested for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, according to a statement from the Public Affairs Office of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID) of the Philippine Army (PA). Both are now detained at the Cebu City Police office.

Major Gen. Jose Mabanta, Jr. of the 3rd ID, PA, said: “The long arm of the law has finally fell upon them. Cocoy certainly not able to go back to the provinces of Leyte and Bohol. Their presence in Cebu was also not for them with insurgency in these provinces a thing of the past.”

The same press statement said that Vistal, who formerly led a major armed group in Bohol island, currently leads the major regional armed group in Southeastern Negros island while Badayos was the former technical committee head of the same Negros group. Vistal, according to military records, was involved in several NPA violent actions in Bohol, Leyte and Negros islands in including the raid of two PNP camps in Bohol in 1999 which lead to the loss of several firearms.

He was also reportedly involved in the encounter against Special Forces soldiers in 2000 which lead to the death of 2lt Socrates Que and some of his men. Furthermore, military records report Vistal as the triggerman in the killing of a certain Basilio Casido in Siaton, Negros Oriental. (RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)

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