POLICE and military intelligence agents arrested top Communist Party of the Philippines leader Vicente Ladlad and his two companions and seized a cache of high-powered weapons, explosives and ammunition during a raid on a suspected rebel safehouse earlyyesterday morning in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayadle immediately brushed off suggestions that Ladlad was arrested because of his political views stressing it was rather due to violation of law.
Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Joselito Esquivel said Ladlad who owns aliases Eduardo Reyes, Boss Ed and General Reyes, is also a member of CPP Central Committee.
Also collared during the operation were his two comrades Antonio M. De Jesus, alias Kuya Tony and a certain alias Ate Anna.
According to Esquivel, a concerned citizen tipped off the presence of suspicious individuals at Lot 16-A, Block 3, Saint Mark Street and Saint Joseph Street, Doña Tomasa, in Bgy. Bartolome, Novaliches, QC.
The combined operatives from the National Capital Region Police Office, the Q.C. Police District and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group with the support of the Armed Forces Joint Task Force-NCR and the Philippine Army, armed with a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 issued by Judge Cecylyn Burgos-Villaver of the Q.C. Regional Trial Court Branch 89 stormed the suspect’s safehouse in Barangay San Bartolome in Novaliches.
Apart from arresting the three suspects, police also seized one Russia SKS or AK-47 with bayonet; one magazine assembly for AK 47 with nine rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition; one Elisco M16A1 assault rifle with defaced serial number; two long and one short M-16 magazine assemblies containing 80 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition; one cal. 45 Colt MK IV series 80 pistol; two magazine assemblies for cal. 45 loaded with 21 bullets, one 9mm pistol, one magazine assembly for cal. 9mm with three bullets; one Colt cal. 45 pistol loaded with five bullets; four hand grenades; several electronic equipment and various suspected subversive documents.
Ladlad is one of the NDF consultants who came out in the open during the peace talks with the government but went underground after the talks collapsed.