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PH army intensifies hunt for rebel

January 15, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 612 views

SECURITY troops have intensified their hunt for Eric Jun Casilao alias ‘Ka Elian/Wally,’ tagged as the top Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army leader in Southern Mindanao, officials said yesterday.

The Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry ‘Agila’ Division headed by Major General Ernesto C. Torres Jr. also released the latest computerized sketch of Casilao from the Philippine National Police Forensic Group.

Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, Brigadier Gen. Jesus P. Durante III described Casilao as the secretary of the CPP/NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee.

The official said that the 46-years old Casilao is a brother of former Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao. He added that the fugitive is known to have been with the underground movement for the past 20 years with his party wife May Casilao alias ‘Gab.’

Brig. Gen. Durante said that the suspect is wanted for a string of non-bailable criminal cases including two counts of murder and kidnapping and serious illegal detention. The Nabunturan Regional Trial Court Branch 3 in Davao de Oro has issued a warrant of arrest against the accused, he added.

The Army’s 1001st Brigade commander said they have received reliable information that Casilao is being groomed to replace the late Menandro Villanueva alias ‘Bok/Nelson’ who was killed in an encounter with Army troopers in Mabini, Davao de Oro last January 5.

The killing of Villanueva came after the local Army was informed by concerned citizens of the presence of armed men in their community.

Maj. Gen. Torres said that a P5.4 million bounty awaits the informant who will lead us to Casilao.

“Anybody who can disclose the whereabouts of Eric Jun Casilao alias ‘Elian’ or ‘Wally’ will get the reward money being offered by the Department of National and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) amounting to PHP5.4 million,” the Army official said.

The two top Mindanao Army officials also said there is no reason to describe the slain Villanueva as a’ hero’ citing his involvement in rebel atrocities in Mindanao which has led to the killing of several innocent civilians as well as the destruction of government and private properties and other infrastructures that could have led to the further development of the region.