A ranking member of the communist New People's Army (NPA) in Negros Occidental province, wanted for murder since 2012, has finally fallen into the hands of the authorities.
Mary Grace Delicano, who has been using the aliases "Tingting," "Cleo" and "Karyle," was arrested on Friday in a military checkpoint along Mabinay Road, Bgy. 9, Kabankalan City.
Her captors, members of the Army's 7ISU, 3MIB, 62IB and BJTIG and 303BDE and the Kabankalan police, called the arrest a "big blow" to the rebel movement in the Visayas province.
Delicano started as a militant NFSW organizer and now belongs to the NPA Negros Regional Command's executive committee. She is also part of its education and instruction group.
She was "in charge of training NPA recruits, as well as the production of various CPP-NPA manuals and publications," among other tasks, said the police.
Delicano was the subject of an arrest warrant, issued on Dec. 11, 2012, by acting presidibg Judge Fernando Elumba of Branch 6 of the Kabankalan Regional Trial Court.
Shortly after her arrest, she was brought for documentation to the Kabankalan police station where she is now detained.
Army Col. Alberto Desoyo thanked barangay officials for the information that led to Delicano's capture.
Desoyo noted that the rebel leader had been giving the government a bad name while conducting NPA training programs.
People like Delicano, he said, had been "pointing only to supposedly what's wrong with government and ignoring reforms resulting from state development initiatives."
"Worse, NFSW, PDG or KADAMAY members have their teach-in class, they are brainwashed, the recruits will have a hard time leaving the rebel movement even after realizing they've been deceived by NPA leaders," he lamented.
Like Desoyo, Col. ....Dacuscos, 62IB battalion commander, urged both NPA oldtimers and new recruits to "return to the fold of the law and give peace a chance."
According to Dacuscos, "it's just a matter of time these recruits and NPA and NFSW members would realize that the movement's claims and promises are not genuine."
He expressed willingness to assist NPA supporters, like farmers, in their land claim-related problems.
"We will do our best to help resolve land ownership issues and concerns in coordination with land owners and the Department of Agrarian Reform," he added.