MANILA The Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) has disclosed the capture of a ranking New People's Army (NPA) leader and three of his companions during operations in Quezon City Saturday morning.
Col. Generoso Bolina, SOLCOM spokesperson, identified those arrested as Benjamin Mendoza, 61, secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC); Josephine Mendoza, a member of the NPA Central Committee, and two still unidentified companions.
Bolina said the arrest was made during operations on Aurora Blvd., Quezon City conducted by elements of the 2nd Infantry Division and the Philippine National Police and other security units at around 12:15 a.m. Saturday.
Bolina said Mendoza was apprehended by virtue of two warrants of arrest, one of which was in Criminal Case No. 206-551 filed at the Regional Trial Court 4th Branch 59 in Lucena City for rebellion, with P5.6 million reward.
He added that the captured NPA leader started his involvement with the rebel group during his student days and became full-time member in the Southern Tagalog region, focusing on ideological and political organizational works with function to expand student organizations inside the academe.
Mendoza, who was then called "Ka Evan" in 1975, led the "Samahan Demokratiko Kabataan" in the National Capital Region.
In 1980, he was designated as the commanding officer of Crispin Tagamolila Command, in charge of the security of the "Sentral Komite."
After graduating from the commando operation, heavy weapon operation, bomb making and sniping course in Libya from 1981 to 1982, Mendoza became the commanding officer of the NPA in Oriental Mindoro in 1984, with the aliases "Ka Miguel/Ka Dave."
Two years later, he was formally designated as a staff of the STRPC.
Further reports revealed that Mendoza was meted with lifetime disciplinary action due to his extensive involvement in Operation Missing Link, an anti-deep penetration agent drive from members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, activities in the boundaries of Laguna and Quezon.
Likewise, Mendoza was found to have led the most number of successful NPA operations with the least numbers of NPA casualties in 1991.
Reports also disclosed that Mendoza was the brain of most successful raid activities, including those at the Pola Municipal Hall; at Mendez Mining in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro; at the Philippine Air Forces detachment in the National Power Corp. in Calaca, Batangas; at the Batangas Provincial Jail where at least nine detained NPAs were released; at an Army detachment in Mulanay, Quezon; ambuscade in Gen. Nakar and Lopez, Quezon; and bombing of a bridge in Del Gallego, Camarines Sur.
Meanwhile, SOLCOM commander Maj. Gen. Allan R. Luga commended the extensive and collaborated operation of the AFP and the PNP.
This is considered yet another significant accomplishment of our troops in the 2nd Infantry Division. We are almost at the closing of curtain of CPP/NPA in Southern Tagalog. We are certain it would be soon," Luga said. (PNA)