Wanted NPA team leader yields; denies link to murder case

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

A New People’s Army (NPA) member facing a murder charge voluntarily surrendered to authorities in Leon, Iloilo morning of Jan 2, 2023.

For the safety of the suspect’s family and relatives, police identified the suspect as Tan-Tan, 37, a resident of Barangay Gines, Leon, Iloilo.

Tan-Tan turned himself in to the Leon Municipal Police Station, Mayor Ma. Lina Holipas and several village officials.

Lieutenant Melchor Tolentino, Leon police chief, said Tan-Tan has a pending warrant of arrest for murder docketed as Criminal Case No. 19-83549.

Judge Marie Yvette Go of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37, Iloilo City issued the arrest warrant on March 20, 2019.

Tolentino said Tan-Tan’s real name and the one indicated in the warrant of arrest are different “but they’re the same person.”

The suspect told authorities that he decided to surrender to clear his name.

Years before his arrest warrant was issued, Tan-Tan claimed that he already left the rebel movement and decided to go to Metro Manila.

He claimed to be living in Barangka, Marikina City since 2014 and hasn’t returned to Iloilo until Dec. 27, 2022.

Tolentino said he will check with the Philippine Army if the suspect’s name is on the period status report (PSR), or the government’s watchlist of NPA personalities.

According to reports, the suspect is the team leader of the 2nd squad of Suyak Platoon under Joven Ceralvo alias Lex.

Based on the initial verification, Tan-Tan has no other pending arrest warrant.

He joined the NPA in 2008 but did not formally surrender and just went off in 2014.

The suspect will be turned over to the court concerned for the proper disposition of his case.