Top-ranking NPA leaders arrested in Ilocos Sur

by Chari Santos

Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija- The combined elements of Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion, 702nd Infantry Brigade and Ilocos Sur Provincial Police Office of PNP arrested the top ranking leader of Komiteng Larangan Gerilya (KLG) North Abra named Joel Sibalo Banganan, alias “PAYAS”, and Ranny Velle Urbis, with aliases “MARIA, NISE and ESTER”, who is reported to be the Secretary of KLG South Ilocos Sur (SIS) on August 14, 2020 in Barangay Damacuag, Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Mariñas Jr., the Commanding Officer of 81IB, Banganan and Urbis are part of the group that was encountered by Army and PNP in Barangay Suagayan, Santa Lucia on August 8.

Troops that arrested Banganan revealed that the said NPA leader has a fresh gunshot wound at the back of his head and neck which he got during the encounter.

Banganan, aged 37, is a resident of Barangay Mataragan, Malibcong, Abra is facing a rebellion case, while Urbis aged 35 is a resident of Barangay Gimud Norte, San Juan, Ilocos Sur also facing a frustrated murder case.

The two notorious top-ranking NPAs are now in the custody of Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur PNP for legal processing.

Meanwhile, 7th Infantry Division Commander Major General Alfredo V. Rosario Jr. PA, lauded the troops in their successful law enforcement operations leading to the deaths and arrest of NPA top-ranking leaders in Ilocos Sur that will surely stop their criminal, bandit and terrorist activities in Ilocos Sur.

“We were serious when we said that we will dismantle the KLG-SIS of the NPA in Ilocos this year. The fall of its top-ranking officers and members is a determinant that the reign of terrorism in Ilocos Sur and Abra is nearing its end. We attribute this success to our peace-loving community and their leaders who supported and cooperated with us in the fight to end the local communist armed conflict in their communities,” Maj. Gen. Rosario Jr., added.

~Press release and photos courtesy of 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division, Philippine Army

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