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Philippines' most senior communist rebel held: military

Published on Mar 22, 2014 11:32 PM

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines' highest-ranking communist guerrilla leader was arrested on Saturday in a "victory" for national peace and security, the armed forces chief said.

Communist Party of the Philippines chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife, the party's secretary general Wilma Tiamzon, were arrested in a joint police and military operation, military chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista said in a statement.

"The arrest... is another victory for the combined efforts between the (military, police) and other stakeholders in pursuit of peace and security," he added, urging their followers to lay down their arms and end the 45-year-old insurgency.

The Maoist rebellion has claimed 30,000 lives according to government estimates.

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