REWARD. Photo shows Menandro Villanueva alias Bok, the secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), who the military said on Monday (Dec. 27, 2021) has a PHP5.6 million cash bounty. He is considered as one of the recognized high leaders of the organization hiding in the strongholds of its armed wing of the New People's Army (NPA). (Photo courtesy of PIA-Davao de Oro)

DAVAO CITY – The Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) offered a PHP5.6 million cash reward to any individual who can provide information that would lead to the arrest of a top leader of the New People’s Army (NPA).

In a press briefing Sunday afternoon, Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., commander of the 10th Infantry Division (10ID), said the Army is pursuing Menandro Villanueva alias Bok,  secretary of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

He is considered as one of the recognized high leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hiding in the strongholds of its armed wing, NPA.

“Any information that will lead to the arrest of alias Bok has a reward set up by DND and DILG amounting to PH5.6 million. We know he is still there in the operational area,” Torres added.

Meanwhile, 1001st Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante said Villanueva is number one on their most wanted list, adding that a string of cases has been filed against him with pending warrants of arrest.

“He is one of the top personalities pursued, they are still out there and they were with alias Kaye last December 24 wherein Kaye was fatally wounded,” Durante said.

On Dec. 24, soldiers of the 1001st Infantry Brigade and 5th Scout Ranger Company, following intensive military operations in Davao De Oro, neutralized Anna Sandra Reyes alias Kaye, CPP Central Committee member and secretary of the Regional White Area Committee under SMRC, in a 30-minute combat operation.

“Villanueva and other members are there with Kaye during the encounter,” Durante said.

After the encounter, troops recovered war materiel, medicines, and assorted medical paraphernalia.

Also, the neutralized CPP member has two standing criminal cases for attempted murder and murder with no bail before the regional court in Tagum City.

“The 10th Infantry Division will continue to safeguard communities in its area of responsibility against the remaining remnants of SMRC in Southern Mindanao. Agila Troopers will continue to hit the ground running to pursue communist NPA terrorists disrupting peace gains in the area,” Torres said.

He added that the death of Kaye was considered a victory for the Filipino people and also a loss of another promising fellow Filipino only deceived and used by the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front to its ambitious yet dying quest, now rejected by the masses.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)