Regional NPA leader, 6 other suspected rebels arrested in Palawan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5)— Seven suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA), including a regional leader, were arrested in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan Friday night, police said.

Domingo Ritas, also known as "Ka Dino" was nabbed in a joint police and military checkpoint in Barangay San Jose, according to a press release from the Mimaropa (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) police.

Ritas was arrested while onboard a van from San Vicente town, with six other suspects who remain unidentified.

Police said Ritas is Deputy Secretary of the NPA's Sub-Regional Military Area 4-E and is wanted for murder.

Authorities said they recovered explosives, NPA uniforms and flags of the National Democratic Front from the suspects firearms.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which has been waging a fifty-year old insurgency. President Rodrigo Duterte walked away from the on-and-off peace negotiations with the group, as both the CPP and government accuse each other of ceasefire violations.

The government is cracking down on communist rebels following the botched peace talks. It has a pending court motion to formalize the tag on communist rebels as terrorists.