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Top CPP terrorist leader arrested, finally

Arrest of Eric ‘Jun’ Casilao seen to hasten CPP-NPA collapse

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THE Philippine government on Monday, April 17, 2023, announced the arrest in Malaysia of one of the remaining local communist terrorist leaders who has been the subject of an intense manhunt for several years now for the many atrocities that he ordered or personally committed.

In a media bulletin, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Eric Jun Casilao, aka, Elian/Wally, was arrested with the help of Malaysian security forces in and was deported to the Philippines also on Monday via a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Manila under heavy police escort.

A television interview of his brother, former ‘Anakpawis’ partylist representative, Ariel ‘Ayik’ Casilao by the mainstream media bared their information was that his sibling was already arrested as far back as April 1 at a seaport in Langkawan. Anakpawis is a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

He said Eric entered Malaysia thru “the backdoor” and was probably nabbed while trying to return to Mindanao via the same route.

Casilao, 47, has spent more than 20 years now inside the local communist terrorist movement. His rise to the top of the CPP hierarchy came with the decimation of the leaders of the party’s Mindanao Commission (KomMid) at the hands of the 10th Infantry ‘Agila’ Division, Eastern Mindanao Command then under MGen. Ernesto ‘Jun’ Torres. Torres is now the executive director of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

In January 2022, the government offered a reward of P5.4 million for the capture, dead or alive, of Casilao after identifying him as the new secretary general of the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (SMRPC), member of the CPP’s Military Commission in charge of the terrorist operations of the New People’s Army (NPA) and head of the KomMid.

The SMRPC is the only remaining “influential” branch of the CPP in the county and the arrest of Casilao may result to its final dissolution.

Casilao succeeded Menardo ‘Ka Bok’ Villanueva to the above positions after Villanueva was killed in a military encounter in Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley) on January 5, 2022 (see also Pinoy Exposé, January 17, 2022).

At the time of his death, Villanueva is being “groomed” to be the next CPP chairman (Pinoy Expose, January 6, 2022).

The other leaders of the KomMid and SMRPC who were killed after clashing with the military in the last two years and paved the way for Casilao’s ascension to the top leadership of the CPP were Pedro ‘Gonyong’ Codaste, on January 21, 2022 in Bukidnon (Pinoy Expose, January 31, 2022) and Anna Sandra ‘Kaye’ Reyes, on December 24, 2021, also in Davao de Oro.

It can be speculated that Casilao had to find haven in another country after barely escaping with his life during a clash, in New Bataan, Davao de Oro, last February 24, 2022, in a focused military operation prepared by the EMC specifically to neutralize him.

While Casilao managed to escape, the clash resulted to the death of University of the Philippines (UP) graduate, Chad Booc (Pinoy Expose, February 25, 2022).

“Our heartfelt congratulations to the dedicated men and women of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict who worked tirelessly to effect the arrest of terrorist fugitive Eric Casilao, one of the most notorious leaders of the Communist Terrorist Group, to date,” said Torres, now in his capacity as NTF-ELCAC executive director.

“With the arrest of Mr. Casilao… we can now declare that the SMRC, particularly its armed component (NPA), is now totally defeated. Casilao is also an active member of the Central Committee of the CPP,” Torres added.

“On behalf of the Task Force, led by no less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as our chairman and National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Ano as vice chairman, I would like to congratulate the Joint Regional Task Force 11 (JRTF 11);  the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster headed by DND Undersecretary Angelito De Leon; and the International Engagement (IE) Cluster led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jesus Domingo for working hand in hand with Malaysian officials in causing the arrest and subsequent deportation of Mr. Casilao,” Torres said further.