Alleged NPA leader arrested after years in hiding

Alleged NPA leader Francisco Balois (sitting right) during his arrest. (Maayon PNP photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Francisco Balois, 64, alias Tonying, an alleged New People’s Army (NPA) leader who led the rebel group in numerous armed clashes with government troops, was arrested after years of manhunt operations.

Balois, considered a high-value individual operating under the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay, was apprehended at around 9:28 a.m. on June 25 at Sitio Ensewalan, Barangay Tapulang, Maayon, Capiz.

Based on police and military records, Balois is the leader of Squad Dos of KR-P’s Madia-as Platoon.

Members of the Maayon Municipal Police Station, along with the Philippine Army’s 82nd and 12th Infantry Brigades and the 1st Capiz Provincial Mobile Force Company, served nine arrest warrants against him.

These warrants included four counts of rebellion (Criminal Case Numbers 12-1281-10, 14-1475-09, 12-1291-11, and 12-1253-06), murder with the use of an unlicensed firearm (CC No. 11-1187-10), and violation of Section 2 in relation to Section 3(b) of Presidential Decree 532 (Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974) under CC No. 13-1309-01.

The arrest warrants were issued by Branch 21 of the 6th Regional Trial Court in Mambusao, Capiz.

Balois also faces another rebellion or insurrection charge (CC No. 07-64625) before the 6th RTC Branch 24 in Iloilo City, robbery in band (CC No. 193) issued by MCTC Dumalag, Capiz, and illegal possession of explosives with multiple frustrated murder (CC No. 06-62230) before a court in Iloilo City.

During his arrest, operatives seized a caliber .45 pistol with five magazines loaded with ammunition, a hand grenade, and a handheld radio from Balois’ possession.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 confirmed that Balois’ arrest carries a reward of P150,000.

Lieutenant Colonel Vicel Jan Garsuta, 12IB commander, said they monitored Balois hiding in several towns in Capiz for more than a month.

Manhunt operations were conducted in the towns of Maayon, Cuartero, Dumarao, Dumalag, and Sigma.

Balois was eventually located in a secluded area of Barangay Tapulang, about 5 kilometers from Maayon town proper, where his son-in-law resides.

During the arrest, Balois was with his daughter, son-in-law, their child, and his sister-in-law. Reports indicate that Balois offered slight resistance but was quickly subdued by operatives.

Garsuta noted that despite his age, Balois remains physically fit and mentally sharp, having led the rebels in an encounter in Sigma town as recently as March 2024.

With several criminal cases against him and no bail recommended, it appears Balois will continue his fight behind bars.

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