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NPA leader arrested while undergoing treatment in Zambo Sur hospital

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A ranking leader of the New People’s Army was arrested while seeking treatment at a hospital in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, the military reported.

Arrested was Rowel Monasque alias “Jotham”/”Henry,” commander of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee’s Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU), according to a report from the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion.

Soldiers and policemen placed him under arrest at the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Hospital, around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53rd IB commander, said operatives tracked down Monasque to the facility, following a clash with the latter’s group in Dumingag town on Monday.

“Monasque is the leader of [that] group… He is currently undergoing medication for the wounds sustained during the encounter,” said Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander.

The military earlier reported that one alias “Gogo,” said to be MRGU’s political guide, was killed in the clash and some high-powered guns and explosives were seized.

Two other suspected members of the MRGU, identified as Jaymar Bellano and Gemma Ayas, were captured hours after the fighting as pursuit operations took troops to Midsalip town.

“We can now see that they are at the brink of collapse,” Nicolas said.

Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, 1st Infantry Division commander, said the military will ensure that Monasque will be taken care of at the hospital, regardless of his position and leadership in the armed group.

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