BUTUAN CITY - The fourth most wanted criminal in the Caraga region has been arrested by a joint police and military team.
Ricardo Manili alias Ka Joker, who is allegedly a top leader of the communist movement in Mindanao, was arrested Monday at around 1:30 p.m. in a Commission on Elections (Comelec) checkpoint in Barangay Remedios, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.
According to the police, Manili was inside a van with an improvised plate when he and his group were flagged down. He was positively identified by authorities at the checkpoint.
He was accompanied by four men and two women.
Manili was supposed to attend the release of two soldiers and 3 policemen somewhere in the Caraga region.
Manili is allegedly the commanding officer of the New People's Army's (NPA) regional operational command.
Authorities recovered two guns, an improvised explosive device, a grenade, medical kits, and a rifle inside the van.
According Chief Superintendent Rolando Felix, regional director of police regional office 13, Manila has a standing warrant of arrest for two counts of rebellion, two counts of murder, two counts of multiple murder, and arson.
Manili has a P4.9 million reward for his capture.
Felix said Manili had been linked to several attacks committed by rebels in the region.