NPA leader rearrested in Bukidnon – military

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The military on Saturday, May 12, said the successor of one of the most-wanted commanders of the New People's Army (NPA) in Mindanao was rearrested in a hospital raid in Bukidnon.

Elizalde Cañete, also known as Jinggoy, was at the Don Carlos Doctors Hospital seeking treatment at the time of the arrest.

"He was wounded in an encounter in Kitaotao, Bukidnon on May 10, 2018 between the troops of 1003rd Brigade and his group," said Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

Balagtey claimed Cañete is the successor of the late Leonicio Pitao, better known as Commander Parago, who died in an encounter in June 2015.

It wasn't the first time Cañete was arrested, Balagtey said in a statement.

"Jinggoy was first arrested sometime 2010, after soldiers of the Special Forces saved him after he was seriously wounded in an encounter in Montevista, Compostela Valley," he said.

But Cañete posted bail in 2013 and returned to the underground movement, Balagtey explained.

The NPA leader's arrest was followed by accusations he was behind atrocities in Davao City in 2017, among them an attack supposedly against Lapanday Foods Corporation which killed fish vendor Larry Buenafe.

Balagtey also claimed Cañete was behind the torching of equipment used in road projects here during Holy Week.

Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr said authorities "[are] now coordinating with the proper court for the legal processing, commitment, and security procedures" for Cañete. –