Two NPA Leaders Arrested, Reveals Arms Cache in Lanao Norte

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CAMP SANG-AN, Pulacan, Labangan, ZDS – Two Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) leaders were apprehended in a joint checkpoint operation by the troops of 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, 49th Infantry Battalion and 2nd Maneuver Platoon, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, PNP in Brgy Dableston, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte, at 12:00 p.m. midnight, Sunday, December 1, 2019.

“The two were identified as Christopher Cañete y Ruiz or known as Alias Glock and Virjon Virtudazo y Sagaysay also known as alias Thunder” said Lt. Col. Rolando Orengo, 5th Mech Battalion Commander.

“Both were armed with one caliber .45 pistol, one caliber .38 revolver, an improvised explosive device and its paraphernalia and a rifle grenade during the apprehension”, he added.

During the custodial debriefing, Cañete and Virtuzado revealed to the troops an arms cache located in Brgy San Isidro, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.

Around 11:30 a.m. same day, the follow-up operation resulted into the discovery of seven M16 rifles, one AR18 rifle, one M203 Grenade Launcher, one caliber 38 revolver, 29 pcs. Bandoliers, 286 pcs. Magazines for m16 and 2,000 rounds of ammunitions.

According to Brig. Gen. Facundo Palafox IV, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander, who has operational jurisdiction of Lanao del Norte, “This is a big blow to the CNTs of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee because both were occupying top positions in their organization”.

“Cañete is a commander of one of the guerilla front companies, while Virtuzado is in charge of the recruitment and brainwashing the minds of their recruits in hinterlands of Iligan, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental area”, added Palafox.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan Jr, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) acting commander, commended the efforts of the troops for the apprehension of two and the discovery of CNT’s arms cache.

“This significant accomplishment will weaken the CNTs recruitment and organizational works in our area of operation”, Gaerlan said.

“We urged the youth, indigenous peoples and the locals to be more vigilant and report to our troops the presence of armed and other threat groups in their communities”, Gaerlan added.

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