BACOLOD CITY, April 8 (PNA) — The fall of one of the top leaders of New People’s Army (NPA)in Negros Occidental will certainly turn the group upside down, according to commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
Major General Jose Mabanta Jr. said the arrest of Reneil Cellon, commander of the Sentro de Grabidad platoon of the Southwest Front Committee of Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros will add to the “worsening crisis” within the notorious rebel movement.
Cellon was nabbed in a checkpoint staged by the joint forces of Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police along the national highway in Brgy. Dancalan, Ilog, Negros Occidental last April 5.
Also arrested was Cellon’s wife Mary Jane Magquilat (a.k.a. Ka Chin-Chin) and companions Jose Ditomal, 41; Rodrigo Maricasa, 49; Antonio Estaniel, 51; and Edson Gonzales, 20.
Mabanta claimed that the NPA in Negros Occidental is presently experiencing turmoil under the leadership of former priest Frank Fernandez.
He also noted that their arrest shows the strong collaboration between the state security forces and the community.
Military records showed that Cellon and his wife have pending arrest warrants for murder and frustrated murder.
He reportedly led several assassination activities of NPA and numerous encounters with the 61st and 47th Infantry Battalions.
He was also responsible for the ambush of 2Lt. Jose Angelo Esguerra, as well as the raid and destruction of mining firm properties in Sipalay City.
The 38-year-old Magquilat, on the other hand, is the alleged head of the Education Bureau of the South West Front Committee.
She also acts as the political officer of the rebel unit commanded by her husband.
On March 2012, she was also arrested by the 47th Infantry Battalion in Kabankalan City but was released due to lack of arrest warrants. (PNA)