Wanted murder suspect’s ‘favorite’ weapon seized

Some of the war materiel, including a firearm of an alleged wanted murder suspect with links to the New People’s Army (NPA), was recovered by military troopers during their focused military operations in an undisclosed area in Negros over the weekend. (Photo courtesy of 79th IB)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY — Military troopers seized a weapon used by a wanted murder suspect with alleged links to the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros over the weekend.

Captain Dan Carlo Samoza, civil military operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), reported that a .45 caliber pistol with a silencer was among the items recovered during recent focused military operations in an undisclosed area.

“A concerned citizen reported the location of the armed persons. However, they might have sensed they were being tracked by the Army, prompting them to immediately flee the area, leaving some war materiel behind,” Samoza explained.

The firearm is believed to belong to Roger Fabillar, also known as “Arnel Tapang” or “Jhong,” who was implicated in previous killings in Calatrava town.

A cash reward of P1 million had previously been offered for the arrest of Fabillar, who is considered a remnant of the dismantled Northern Negros Front of the NPA.

Murder charges were filed by the police against the perpetrators, including Fabillar, in relation to the Calatrava killings last year, even before the NPA admitted their involvement in the deaths of two barangay officials.

“Once the firearm is turned over to the police, authorities will be able to determine if the slugs recovered from the slain civilians match the ballistics,” said Samoza.

Earlier this year, a 41-year-old alleged intelligence officer and vice squad leader of the SDG Platoon of the dismantled NNF of Komiteng Rehiyon Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KRNCBS), and Fabillar’s alleged closest cohort, was arrested through an arrest warrant for robbery in Sagay City, a day after he surrendered to the military on March 17.

As of press time, Fabillar remains at large.

Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Calaoagan, commander of the 79th IB, stated that the recent recovery of the dismantled NNF’s war materiel underscores their strength, determination, and unity.

“Let us continue to work together with courage and unwavering dedication to protect the peace of our country,” Calaoagan said, urging the troops to stay vigilant, strong, and committed to their mission.

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