Eastern Visayas

2 suspected Eastern Visayas NPA leaders caught in Bulacan

Jazmin Bonifacio

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2 suspected Eastern Visayas NPA leaders caught in Bulacan

SEIZED. Firearms and other items seized during the arrest of alleged rebel leaders Rosita Solayao Taboy and Antonio Pondang Legaspi in Bulacan on May 26.

Public Affairs Office, 8ID

The military alleges that one of the arrested suspects serves in the CPP-NPA-NDF's finance group, while another is a demolition expert

TACLOBAN, Philippines – A team of soldiers and policemen caught suspected high-ranking leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, on Friday, May 26.

Captain Jefferson Mariano, spokesperson of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan, Samar, identified one of the two arrested suspects as Rosita Solayao Taboy, also known as Laling.

Mariano identified the other suspect only as “Beto,” Taboy’s husband.  A police mugshot, however, showed that the suspect is Antonio Pondang Legaspi.

Mariano said Taboy is the former secretary of the Regional Organizational Department (ROD) and a member of the Executive Committee (EXECOM) of the CPP-NPA’s Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC). 

She has been serving as a staff member of the National Democratic Front’s finance commission, according to Mariano.

Legaspi, meanwhile, is believed to be a demolition expert of the CPP-NPA-NDF’s National Operations Command.

Authorities said they found a caliber .45 pistol, a caliber .38 revolver, a bomb, blasting caps, assorted cellphones, a laptop, and subversive documents when they searched the couple’s San Jose del Monte house.

The military said the suspects have pending multiple criminal cases and have a standing warrant of arrest for multiple murder issued by the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Basey, Samar on October 8, 1990.

They were also ordered arrested for a multiple frustrated murder case in Paranas, Samar in 1995, and for a similar case in Laoang, Northern Samar.

Mariano said the couple was allegedly responsible for numerous crimes committed in the Eastern Visayas region, including the burning of a Smart Communications tower in Catbalogan City, Samar on January 6, 2000; the assassination of militiaman Danilo Nuguit on September 27, 2006; and an ambush that killed 10 soldiers and a nine-year-old child on December 14, 2010.

The suspects will be brought to Camp Crame.

Major General Camilo Ligayo, the commander of 8th ID, said the suspects’ arrest would hasten the downfall of the NPA in Eastern Visayas, and was a significant development in bringing the couple to justice. – Rappler.com

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