04 May Caraga’s 4th Most Wanted Person Known as Commander Joker of the NPA Fell into the Hands of the PNP
On May 2, at around 1:00 in the afternoon, Caraga regional director Police Chief Superintendent Rolando Felix said that they were able to apprehend one of the high-ranking commanders of NPA Ricardo Manili known as commander Joker at their composite Comelec PNP and AFP checkpoint along Barangay Mat-I in the town of Las Nieves in Agusan del Norte. Knowing that Commander Joker is on the number list of most wanted with a reward of 4.9 million pesos on his head.
Commander Joker of the New People’s Army is the fourth most-wanted person in Caraga region, and his capture is considered a big achievement for the region’s police force.
“This is an achievement not only for the police but also for our brothers in the army and a huge hit to the leadership of the NPA here in Caraga Region, commander Joker is known to be an institution within the armed movement, I’m sure his capture will have an impact toward the NPA,” said Felix.
Found in the van without an authorized plate where Commander Joker boarded were homemade shotgun, a .9mm pistol, a caliber .45 pistol, grenade, an improvised explosive device, three bolos, several round ammunitions, two blasting caps, other medical documents and personal belongings, and a medical kit and were confiscated by the police. Meanwhile, the six individuals who were with him were under investigation to verify their real names, assess if they are together with Manili and if they are members of the NPA.
Based on a police report from the field, the vehicle was on its way to Bayugan City via the new roads along Esperanza town in Agusan del Sur and was believed to be coming from Barangay Tungao in Butuan City.
On the other hand, a spokesman of the NPA said Manili’s arrest will have no stance on the scheduled release of the two captured soldiers namely Pfc. Diven Tawide and Pfc. Glen Austria of the Philippine Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion in Agusan del Norte before the May 9 polls. And at noon of May 2, SPO4 Rene Rombo who was captured last April 3 was released in Barangay Banglay in Lagonglong.