By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Six suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) wanted for murder and frustrated murder raps were arrested in three separate operations at Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Wednesday.
Armed with arrest warrants for murder and frustrated murder, personnel of the 2nd Company of the Provincial Mobile Force Company and 62nd Infantry Brigade (IB) of the Philippine Army arrested Rodrigo Medez, secretary of local party branch; Jimmy Tevez, Jodito Montecino, JP Romano, Eliseo Andres, and Roger Sabanal at their respective residences in Sitios Bito, Balatugan, and Dawhan in Buenavista.
They are all alleged unit militia members of the Central Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros (KR-N) of the NPA.
Medez and company were charged for two counts of murder, and six counts of frustrated murder relative to the armed clash between the military troops and NPAs at Sitio Bunsad, Barangay Tan-awan, Kabankalan City in May 2018.
The encounter resulted in the deaths of two soldiers and injured six others.
The arrest warrants were issued by Judge Rodney Magbanua of the Regional Trial Court Branch 61 in Kabankalan City.
Lieutenant Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, 62nd IB commander, said the apprehension of the alleged rebels is a blow to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – NPA – National Democratic Front (NDF) in Central Negros.
“No one is above the law and no one can escape justice. Sooner or later the NPAs will answer for their crimes, either they get killed in encounters or get arrested because the Army will relentlessly pursue them,” he added.
The arrested suspects were turned over to the police for proper custody.
“I assure the people, together with the police, that their arrest is in accordance with the existing laws,” Dacoscos said.
The 62nd IB already figured in two clashes with the rebels at Barangay Buenavista this year. The first encounter happened at Sitio Asaran on April 9, followed by another at Sitio Dawhan on May 4.