By Roi Lomotan
TANJAY CITY, Negros Oriental(PIA) – Joint forces of government troops and members of the Tanjay City Police nabbed a suspected leader of the rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) in a checkpoint in Barangay Tugas recently.
A report from the 3rd Infantry Division (ID) of the Philippine Army disclosed that the alleged NPA leader was identified as alias “Pediong” or “Nasyo” and was arrested 7:50 p.m. Friday, June 6, by the soldiers of Philippine Army and members of Tanjay City Police. He is now detained at the Tanjay City PNP Station
Former rebels who are now back in mainstream society recognized him as the secretary of the Southeast Font of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (SEF, KR-N) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“This development is certainly a big blow to the CPP-NPA in Negros Oriental as its organizational structure has been dismantled. This is the result of the Bayanihan among the people of the province who are eager to attain lasting peace and live in a place that is conducive for uninterrupted economic development,” BGen. Francisco M Patrimonio, Commander of 302nd Brigade said.
The authorities seized one hand grenade, one ATM card and identification cards containing different names such as Jose Rene H. Bustamante, Jade B. Herevias and Jury Mercado from alias “Pediong/Nasyo.”
The suspected rebel is also linked to the murder of farmer Narciso Bantoto Jr., last January 17, 2014 in Brgy. Tayak in Siaton town. The Philippine Army reported the victim was on his way to Sitio Mainit with his family when rebels perpetrated an ambush in the said area.
Meanwhile, MGen. Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the 3rd ID commended army soldiers and the local police for their efforts that led to the arrest of the alleged NPA leader.
Baladad then mentioned the continuous call to other rebels to abandon armed struggle and go for peaceful resolution of social conflicts.
“We reiterate our call on the CPP-NPA to go down and talk with us peacefully. Abandon the armed struggle for it is not the solution to our societal issues. Let us work together in the spirit of Bayanihan to finally put an end to the insurgency problem of our country,” MGen. Baladad adds. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-NegOr with reports from Maj. Ray Tiongson, 3rd ID Public Affairs Office)