Alleged NPA leaders arrested in Negros Occidental

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 24 2017 09:31 PM

Members of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army present alleged high-ranking officials of the New People's Army (CPP-NPA) Aurora Cayon aka “Lilay” and Louie Antonio Martinez aka “Louie Castro” during a press conference at Camp Crame on Tuesday. Manny Palmero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The police and the military arrested two alleged leaders of the New People's Army (NPA) in Negros Occidental last week in what officials believe is a "major setback" in the long-running insurgency.

Alleged communist rebels Louie Antonio Martinez alias Louie Castro and Aurora Cayon alias Lilay were arrested by joint police and military forces in Barangay Dulao, Bago City on Oct. 19.

Recovered from their possession were a caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade, magazines, and ammunition.

The two were presented to the media on Tuesday.

"They (Martinez and Cayon) are top leaders in the organization (NPA). This is a major setback in the insurgencies perpetrated by the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)- NPA," said Brigadier Gen. Gilbert Gapay, chief of staff of the Philippine Army.

Cayon, according to authorities, allegedly held several high positions within the communist movement such as finance head of the Komiteng Mindanao and staff member of the CPP's National Finance Commission.

Martinez, on the other hand, was allegedly in charge of the general command of logistics of the CPP-NPA.

Cayon has a standing warrant for robbery and arson while Martinez is facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said he is "certain" that the arrest of the 2 alleged NPA leaders "will deal a great blow" to the communist movement.

Martinez and Cayon will face charges for violations of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and illegal possession of explosives.

The arrest of the two alleged communist leaders came amid continuing state operations following the suspension of peace negotiations between government and the Left over persistent rebel attacks.