The top commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Davao City was finally re-arrested on Saturday while undergoing medical treatment at a hospital in Bukidnon for gunshot wounds sustained during an encounter with government forces.
Elizalde Cañete alias Jinggoy, the commander of the Pulang Bagani Command 1 – Southern Mindanao Regional Command (PBC 1 -SMRC), was arrested by an Inter-Agency Law Enforcement Operations team who served the warrant of arrest at around 10 a.m on Saturday at Don Carlos Doctors Hospital in Bukidnon.
Cañete was first arrested in 2010 in an encounter with government forces. He was then allowed by the military to recover from his wounds sustained during an encounter in Montevista, Compostela Valley province but, he jumped bail in 2013 for the murder and arson cases filed against him, a report in state-owned Philipine News Agency (PNA) said.
Eastmincom spokesperson Maj Ezra Balagtey told PNA that Cañete was undergoing treatment at Don Carlos Hospital after an encounter with the troops of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade in Kitao-Kitao, Bukidnon on Thursday, May 10.
Balagtey said Cañete’s group was responsible for exploding the landmine in Mandug, this city that killed fish vendor Larry Buenafe in May last year when NPA burned the Lapanday box facility and the burning of the heavy equipment used in the construction of the bypass road connecting Mandug and Fatima, in Paquibato District, this city.
Cañete succeeded Leoncio Pitao alias Ka Parago, who was killed in an encounter with the military in Barangay Pañalum, Paquibato District on June 28, 2015. Cañete was favored over Christopher Rollon alias Joel, who was first groomed as the successor of Parago.
Lt. Gen Benjamin Madrigal, Eastmincom Commander, said the military will ensure the prosecution of Cañete, even as he lauded the effort of authorities to re-arrest the elusive rebel leader.
“The arrest of Jingoy and his eventual prosecution will now give justice to the victims of his many atrocities particularly, to the late Larry Buenafe who was just peacefully earning a living when he was killed by an NPA-laid landmine,” he said.
Madrigal said the military will assist the police in providing security to Cañete while still undergoing treatment.
“Just like the first time that he was hospitalized in Davao City in 2010, aside from security, I also directed the units concerned to provide and facilitate necessary assistance for his recovery for him to face his charges in the proper court.” Madrigal Jr. said.
Meantime, Balagtey said the Inter-Agency group is now coordinating with the proper court for the legal processing, commitment and security procedures for Cañete. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)