Four high-ranking New People’s Army (NPA) rebels from Jamindan, Capiz have surrendered to authorities, the military said yesterday.
Two of the rebel returnees were couple alias "Hassim," vice commander of Igabon Platoon, Central Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Panay (KR-P) and alias "Inday," who served as the medical officer of the same unit, according to Major Ray Tiongson of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID).
The couple surrendered last July 11 and turned over a hand grenade and a rifle grenade to the military, it added.
Witnessed by different media establishments in Dumaguete, 28 party branch and Yunit Militia members, and 2 regular NPAs took their oath of allegiance to the government over the weekend at Siaton, Negros Oriental.
According to 1Lt Erick Wynmer Calulot, public information officer of 79th IB, the ceremony was dubbed "Pagpanumpa sa Katawhan sa Pagsikway sa NPA," the surrenderers led by Mrs. Roalie Nama, boldly denounced the NPA before the crowd of peace loving people and stakeholders, facilitated by the 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.
Gov. Roel Ragay Degamo of Negros Oriental, and Mayor Alberto Ator of Siaton, officiated the oath taking of the surrenderers.
Representing Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, commanding officer of 302nd Infantry Brigade, was Deputy Brigade Commander, Col. Christopher Estella. He said, it’s a bit odd that it took more than forty years for the New People’s Army to realize that armed struggle is not the best solution to combat insurgency. The delivery of basic government services is the key to achieving peace and development in the countryside.
Warrants of arrest have been issued by the New People’s Army (NPA) main command in the island, the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, against the suspected mastermind and alleged hitmen and rogue elements, belonging to the Revolutionary Proletarian Army- Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) based in Southern Negros, its spokesman with the nom de guerre Juanito Magbanua II, declared in a statement issued yesterday, but dated July 8.
Magbanua II said that the warrants for the arrest of suspects in the alleged murder of Arles included Rustom Puro, Marvin Salve, the alleged actual triggerman, Jesse Daguia, Eddie Fortunado, Alejandro Capunong, Gerald Tabujara, all RPA-ABB members, Emmanuel Medes, an aide of Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez, and whom the rebel spokesperson said was the mastermind of the murder, former Ilog town Mayor John Paul Alvarez, now vice-mayor of the town, after his three-term stint. His brother, JR Alvarez is now the chief executive of Ilog town.
A soldier was injured in a gunbattle between the military and at least 15 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Tuesday, the military said.
Wounded in the clash was Private Juvanie Tumpag who was slightly hit on his right ear and was brought immediately to the nearest hospital, Major Ray Tiongson, public affairs officer of the 3rd Infantry Division, said in a press statement.
The military believes there were also casualties in the NPA side due to the blood-stains in their routes of withdrawal, Tiongson said.
The NPAs northern Negros Command, the Roselyn Pelle Command, through its spokesperson, fully debunked the claims of two alleged former NPAs and those behind them, operatives of the army’s 303rd Brigade, who were spewed out the lies and falsehood, stated during several press conferences in Bacolod City.
Spokesperson Ka Cecil Estrella, specifically cited the press conference held May 11, in Bacolod and earlier, in which the two alleged witnesses, Erving Benas or Ka Erol and Bonnie Espinosa who identified themselves as former NPAs and who had internal knowledge of the workings of the revolutionary movement in the province, presided over.
But the NPA North Negros spokesperson, pointed out that the two, had only been minimally connected with the guerrilla group, and had, to a large extent, no longer any internal knowledge of what has transpired inside.
Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental - Troops from 79th Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt. Ronnie Sarmiento while conducting combat operations encountered more or less 30 heavily armed NPAs in the hinterlands of Sitio Naupao, Barangay San Pedro, Sta Catalina town at around 04:40pm yesterday. Another soldier was reportedly wounded during the firefight.
As the NPAs withdrew in disarray after a few minutes of firefights, they were again engaged by the nearby troops from 79th IB led by 2Lt. John Tumamao and 2Lt. Christopher Eslava. Firefight was still ongoing as of 06:00 P.M. yesterday.
Negros Oriental - A soldier died in action resulting from the encounter with rebels at about 11:00 A.M. yesterday at the height of the people’s exercise. As reported by 302nd Infantry Brigade in Negros Oriental, one section from the Alpha Company of the Army’s 79th IB led by 1Lt. Alexander Robillos while on combat operation encountered more or less 30 armed men of the NPA’s Southeast Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros at Sitio Bungabong, Brgy Milagrosa, Sta. Catalina town, 22 kilometers away from the town proper.
According to Colonel Francisco M. Patrimonio, Commanding Officer of the Brigade, "The encounter was not an election related incident. The Brigade’s concept of security operations for the election includes complementary combat operation against the local terrorists to prevent them from taking advantage to conduct atrocities against military or civilian targets or vital installations."
Two separate complaints for murder and frustrated murder against several persons in Escalante City and in some Northern Negros towns, have been filed against Mayor Melecio "Beboy" Yap, Civil Security Unit (CSU) officials, former army Major Arthur Tupas, human rights leader-advocate Bernardito "Toto" Patigas, former Escalante City Police Chief who is now connected with the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO), Supt. Santiago Rapiz, alleged NPA finance collector, Gregorio Tuayon and former policeman Angel Sinadjan.
But the accused denied the allegations of all the alleged accusers and witnesses, in interviews, as part of the effort of ensuring balance in reportage.
In a separate complaint for the alleged murder of Armando Lutrago former CAFGU, accused were Patigas, Gregorio Tuayon, Rapiz and alleged sparrow unit members Joey Llorente, Jay Vargas, and another person "alias" Bob Soler.
The spokesman of the main, principal CPP-NPA’s fighting unit, the Apolinario "Boy" Gatmaitan Command, has once more issued a major statement related to the alleged collection of the permit-to-campaign fees, peace talks and that of the alleged genuine but actually fake statement on election issues recently in Moises Padilla town.
Rebels Burn Mine Facilities
By Arman P. Toga
It was a classic case of hitting two birds with one stone:
First, New People’s Army (NPA) operatives raided on Friday night Philex Mining Corp. facilities in Sitio Omas, Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City and burned some equipment there.
Second, they rained on and exchanged bullets with responding soldiers for an hour, killing five and wounding two others, and taking away six government firearms on Saturday morning near the mine site.