BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The arrest of two alleged ranking leaders of the New People’s Army in central Negros has been described by the Philippine Army as “justice” for the families of the six policemen, who were killed in an ambush three years ago in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Nabbed by virtue of arrest warrants issued by Guihulngan Regional Trial Court Judge Mario Trinidad for various crimes were rebel leaders identified by Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, as Nona Espinosa, deputy secretary of Central Negros Front 1 (CNF1) of Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, and Adidas Acero, vice commanding officer of the Leonardo Panaligan Command.
Flores said Espinosa and Acero were among those who participated in the ambush of then Police Supt. Arnel Arpon, Guihulngan City police chief, and five of his men on July 21, 2017, while responding to a shooting incident in Brgy. Magsaysay in the city.
Judge Trinidad has denied bail to Espinosa and the other respondents, identified as Medaro Sayosa, Eutique Manait, Randy Saguran, Toto de Asis, Rogelio Posadas, Glemar Bacusmo, Marilou Villanueva, Misael de la Cruz, Domingo Compoc and Jonathan Lacadman, in the multiple murder cases, Maj. Cenon Pancito, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division, said.
Seven companions of Espinosa and Acero were also apprehended. Their arrest yielded assorted guns and explosives, among other items, and subversive documents.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday their arrest is another setback to the CPP-NPA operating in Negros Island, and a victory for the government’s anti-terrorism drive.
With their capture, Pasaporte said they expect demoralization and disarray among their ranks, especially the CNF1 that continues to suffer defeats from their troops.
The security operations of the 62nd, 94th and 11th infantry battalions in the hinterland of Guihulngan, Canlaon and Kabankalan, led to two encounters with groups of NPA rebels that also yielded 17 assorted firearms and explosives, from Sept. 17 to 19.
Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, 3ID commander, said in a statement that the series of positive operations against the CPP-NPA was part of their aggressive and intensified campaign against insurgency and wanted persons, in attaining a peaceful Negros Island.
“We are doubling our efforts and strategies to stop these communist-terrorists from staging more terror, Vinoya said, adding that they and the PNP will be conducting more joint law enforcement operations to permanently disable, not only their terroristic activities, but also their organization.*