BACOLOD CITY – A top leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Negros and Cebu was arrested by a joint military and police team in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental early morning on Tuesday.
In a report on Thursday, the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (15IB) identified the communist-terrorist personality as Radino Giltendez Villacarillo, 43, the current secretary of the NPA’s Regional Committee Second National Urban Center, previously known as the Cebu Party Committee.
Villacarillo, who also uses the name Romil G. Villacarillo as well as six other aliases, has also been identified as the military hardware liaison for Komiteng Rehiyon (KR)-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor Regional Operational Command Ordnance Staff.
Col. Leonardo Peña, commander of 302nd Infantry Brigade, which has territorial jurisdiction over the 15IB based in southern Negros, commended the soldiers and their police counterparts for the arrest of the ranking rebel leader.
“The successful joint enhanced military and police operation manifests the strong commitment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police assigned in Negros. We will work hand-in-hand to protect the Negrenses against the NPA terrorist group,” Peña said.
During the operation in Sitio Ma-oy, Barangay Camindangan, Villacarillo, who also served as the commanding officer of Rehiyon Sentro De Grabidad KR-Negros Front, and committee member of North Negros Front and Front Operational Command North Negros Front, yielded a .45-caliber pistol with one magazine, two hand grenades, and two laptop computers.
Also found in his possession were eight mobile phones, two pocket Wi-Fi devices, an external drive, four USB flash drives, subversive documents, and an unregistered motorcycle.
A photo released by the 15IB showed that Villacarillo has been booked by the police for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, and RA 9516 or the Illegal Possession of Explosives.
Lt. Col. Erwin Cariño, commanding officer of 15IB, said Villacarillo was “among the NPA insiders assigned to spy on various personalities in urban areas and closely monitor the operations of the (NPA hit squad) Special Partisan Unit”.
“His arrest is another major setback to the CPP-NPA and the National Democratic Front terrorists operating in Negros Island,” he said.
Cariño added that Villacarillo was “also tasked to keep in touch with politician-sympathizers for him to move freely in different municipalities, district clinics, and churches”.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)