The long arm of the law finally led to the arrest of top leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebel in Bohol. Reynaldo Luega Camacho, 50, and his common-law wife, Carmelita Geraldez Caneda, 48, were arrested last Saturday morning in Barangay Tulang, Getafe town.
Both are said to be finance and logistics in charge of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) that operates in the Central Visayas region.
“Nasa kanila ang mga kaban ng bayan ng mga yan at the same time sila po ang nangongotong dito sa (Central) Visayas (They serve as the finance in charge of their group but at the same time, they are also indulged in extortion in Central Visayas),” Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro told reporters in a press briefing inside Camp Sergio Osmena Sr. in Cebu City where the couple was brought this afternoon, Feb. 10, after their inquest for the charges of alleged possession of explosives and illegal possession of guns.
Camacho faces murder charges for the ambush of the team of 2Lt. Socrates Que in March 2000 in Sagbayan where he has a standing warrant of arrest that led to his capture.
Que and five of his men were killed in the incident when Camacho and his team led by Roy Erecre, then the Secretary General of the CPP-NPA in Central Visayas ambushed the soldiers who reinforced for a military detachment in Balilihan that was harrassed by the rebels.
Also indicted for the ambush that also wounded three soldiers was Silvino Clamucha, then the NPA spokesman of the region, who died in an encounter however in 2004 in Batuan town. Erecee was captured in Davao City in 2014 leaving Camacho, who reportedly enjoys the fortress of a relative who is a Bohol politician, as the biggest NPA leader alive of the rebel group that killed the team of Que who were members of the Army Special Forces (SF).
Military intel tagged Camacho who goes by the aliases of Rey/Teddy/Chad/Baler/Jeboy/Val Camacho as the Secretary of Komiteng Rehiyonal-Central Visayas (KR-CENVIS); Commander Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros Cebu Bohol and Siquijor (KR-NCBS); Regional Finance Staff Implementing Group, National Operational Command (NOC) Staff and National Finance Commission Staff of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).
Bohol Provincial Police Director Col. Jonathan Cabal said the capture of Camacho is a “big blow” to the CTG that operates in the region as they are making Bohol as their new Rest and Recreation (R & R) Haven.
“Actually they operate outside of Bohol, they are just making it as their R and R area,” Cabal said in a mix of English and Filipino. Col. Jerry Borja, Commanding Officer of the Task Group Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor of the AFP Central Command explained that after Bohol was declared as “insurgency-free” the CTG’s took advantage of the situation.
“They took advantage of the peaceful situation in Bohol, they took refuge there,” Borja said. Caneda is also a Bohol native who has been identified as a ranking member of KR-Cenvis and National Finance Commission Operations Group.
The two who were arrested by the combined team of the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) operatives and Centcom’s 47th IB based in Carmen town led Lt. Col. Allan Tabudlo also have explosives devices, explosives components, firearms and subversive documents in their possession prompting the lawmen to file the appropriate charges against them.
Ferro said they are investigating if Camacho and Caneda have the “skills to make bombs” but they have reports that the cache that included apple type grenades and explosives components like TNT and C4 were actually taken from some mining firms in the region where the local CTG’s would extort for “revolutionary taxes.”
Cabal revealed that Camacho used to study in a local university in Cebu City in the 1980’s where he was recruited from the ranks of militant youth that joined rallies and street demonstrations. /AAJ