By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

NABBED. The firearms and other belongings seized from three ranking communist leaders in an operation in General Santos City on Sunday (Jan. 29, 2023). The three suspects were identified as Ruben Saluta, Purificacion Saluta and Yvonne Losaria. (Photo courtesy of CIDG)

MANILA – Three ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were arrested in a police operation in General Santos City, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said on Monday.

CIDG chief Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat said those arrested were Ruben Saluta, secretary of the National Propaganda Commission of the CPP Central Committee and former secretary of the NPA’s Panay Regional Party Committee (PRPC); Presentacion Cordon Saluta, head of the Komiteng Rehyonal Panay (KR- Panay) and Yvonne Losaria leader of the Sentro-De-Gravidad, Guerrilla Front 35, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

CIDG operatives nabbed the three suspects in an operation at Phase 5, Doña Soledad, Barangay Labangal on Sunday after receiving information about their presence in the area.

Seized from them were several firearms — including three M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, carbine — several types of ammunition, a hand grenade, mobile phones, laptop computer and documents.

Ruben has standing arrest warrants for several counts of murder while Presentacion is wanted by an Antique court for a rebellion case.

Losaria, meanwhile, has a standing arrest warrant for rebellion charges.

The suspects were turned over to the CIDG Central Mindanao headquarters along with the guns and other documents seized pending the return of the warrant of arrest to the court of origin and issuance of the commitment order. (PNA)