P900K reward up for arrest of alleged rebel hitman in NegOcc

The “wanted” poster for New People’s Army hitman and murder suspect Roger Fabillar alias “Arnel Tapang”. The reward for his arrest was raised from PHP500,000 to PHP900,000 on Thursday night (April 7, 2023). (Image courtesy of 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Arm)

BACOLOD City – The reward for the arrest of the elusive New People’s Army (NPA) hitman Roger Fabillar, the primary suspect in three murder cases in northern Negros, was raised from PHP500,000 to PHP900,000 on Thursday night.

“Several concerned stakeholders and private individuals offered additional cash reward amounting to PHP400,000 to hasten the manhunt against Fabillar and his group. Such amount shall be given to anyone who could provide information that could lead to the arrest and/or neutralization of Fabillar,” announced the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Sagay City, Negros Occidental province.

Also known as “Arnel Tapang”, “Jhong” and “Nono,” the suspect, who is about 31 years old, is facing criminal charges for the series of killings in Calatrava town since last year.

The victims included village chief Benjamin Javoc of Barangay Lalong as well as Renato Estrebillo and Rodel Nobleza, of Barangay Marcelo, who were all gunned down last August.

In February this year, Fabillar was also tagged in the killing of councilman Benito Hubahib of Barangay Cambayobo.

The initial cash reward was set at PHP100,000 in August, and was increased to PHP300,000 then PHP500,000 in September.

Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, commanding officer of 79IB, had earlier said Fabillar is assigned to carry out special operations for the remnants of the dismantled NPA Northern Negros Front.

The bounty was raised following an encounter between the troops of 79IB and communist rebels in Sitio Siraje, Barangay San Isidro in the adjacent Toboso town on Thursday.

In September last year, soldiers installed “wanted” posters with the photograph and personal information of Fabillar in various barangays of Calatrava and Toboso.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Fabillar may contact the 79IB through hotline numbers (0963)8739989 (Smart) and (0927)3392481 (Globe). (PNA)