One of the leaders of a communist hit squad believed responsible for killing a U.S. army officer and scores of Philippine police and soldiers has been captured in Manila, the military said Monday.
Army chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Flores told reporters Reynaldo Bernardo, 36, the intelligence chief and deputy commander of the Alex Boncayao Brigade operating in Manila, was captured by military intelligence agents Sunday morning.Flores said initial reports that they had captured Nilo de la Cruz, chief of the ABB in Manila, were wrong. The confusion was caused by difficulty in identifying Bernardo and his position in the Communist Party hierarchy.
"He is apparently a very new personality. We had to get some people who know him before we were we able to identify him," Flores said.
He said Bernardo was involved in the killing of U.S. Army Col. Nicholas Rowe last year.
Bernardo chose targets for the hit squad, Flores said.
Bernardo is the 13th communist leader captured since President Corazon Aquino was swept to power in 1986. Two escaped in 1989, another died in prison and the rest are being held in Camp Crame military base.