By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Government forces arrested an alleged remnant of the New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Sais, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental last Tuesday, who was allegedly implicated in an ambush in Binalbagan town two years ago.
Elmer Quillano, also known as “Digoy” and “Onie,” 47, of Barangay Buenavista, was charged with seven counts of frustrated murder in relation to the ambush that wounded two policemen and a 15-year-old bystander at Sitio Candida, Barangay Biao, Binalbagan town in February 2022, according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Grande, city police chief.
Quillano allegedly served as the finance and logistics officer of Sentro de Grabidad (SDG) Platoon of the dismantled Central Negros 2 (CN2), Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS), according to the Army.
The arrest warrant was issued by Presiding Judge Walter Zorilla of Regional Trial Court Branch 55 in Himamaylan City, dated September 26, 2023. The court has recommended a bail of P200,000 for each count for his provisional liberty.
This development came barely a month after the Himamaylan police force also arrested a 29-year-old NPA rebel in Barangay Buenavista, wanted for four counts of frustrated murder also pertaining to the Binalbagan ambush.
Grande said that more than 10 persons were tagged in the ambush, but he has no idea how many of them are still at large.
Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, director of Police Regional Office (PRO)-6, commended the diligent work of law enforcement in swiftly capturing the wanted individual linked to the frustrated murder case.
“Our commitment to ensuring justice prevails remains unwavering. This arrest sends a resolute message: our region is steadfastly united against all forms of violence,” he said.
According to the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID), Quillano is the brother of Elbert, an alleged leader of SDG Platoon who was killed along with his wife in an encounter with the troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Buenavista in April 2022.
Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, said the series of neutralization of the remnants of the dismantled guerilla fronts of the NPA in Negros through Law Enforcement Support Operations (LESO) manifest the strong inter-agency coordination and collaboration between the Army and its counterparts in the police.
“We are close to our goal of liberating Negros from the influence of the NPA,” Sison said in a statement. As many of them are reportedly seeking refuge in civilian communities, we will expect and anticipate more of this joint LESO resulting in the apprehension of NPA members, he added.
Sision said that they are doing this to ensure that all NPA members are neutralized in time for the declaration of Negros Island in a state of “Stable Internal Peace and Security” by the first quarter of this year.