A top New People’s Army (NPA) commander and the 4th Most Wanted Person in Caraga region with a huge amount of reward money for his arrest was nabbed at a joint police-military and Comelec checkpoint at a border municipality between Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur on Monday afternoon.
Ricardo Andan Manili, 62, most known in the region as “Joker” the alleged commander of the Regional Operational Command, also known as the “Julito Tero Command,” and the Guerrilla Front 4 of the CPP-NPA-NDF which area of operation includes Butuan City and the municipalities of Buenavista and Carmen in Agusan del Norte and some areas in the neighboring Region 10, was arrested by the joint personnel from the 13th Regional Public Safety Battalion and the military manning a Comelec checkpoint at Brgy. Mat-i, Las Nieves town in Agusan del Norte at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Manili’s arrest was announced by Caraga PNP chief PCSupt. Rolando B. Felix during a press briefing held at the conference room of the regional police headquarters here at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, after the suspect was presented before the highest police official here in the region.
According to Felix, Manili was on board a Silver Starex van with an improvised plate number, the reason why they were flagged down by those manning the checkpoint. The suspect had a female and four other male companions at the vehicle who were also brought to the police regional headquarters here for questioning.
The authorities recovered from the suspect and his companions a Caliber .22 Rifle, a Caliber .45, a 9mm pistol, an improvised explosive device (IED), two blasting caps, a grenade, three magazines, ammunitions, three bolos, medical kits, subversive documents and personal belongings, Felix said.
Manili, who had a PHP4.9 million reward for his capture, has pending criminal cases in the local courts here which included: two counts of rebellion, two counts of murder, robbery with homicide, two counts of multiple murder and arson.
Felix also said that Manili disclosed during their initial investigation that he and his companions were to attend the release of the two abducted soldiers and three policemen, but they did not accordingly knew the venue of the release.
According to Felix, Manili and his companions were heading towards the direction of Esperanza town and Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur during the time of their arrest. The suspect accordingly did not also disclose the place where they had been from.
Manili and his companions were in the custody of the police regional headquarters here and will soon be presented and return his arrest warrants to the courts who had issued it for proper disposition.
The top police official here commended the police and military personnel who had arrested Manili and company, saying that it was part of the routine implementation of the joint action of the police, the military and the Comelec to ensure a peaceful, orderly and successful national and local synchronized elections next week.
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