BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Two alleged ranking leaders of the New People’s Army in central Negros, who were linked to the ambush-slay of a police chief and five of his men in 2017, and seven others, were arrested by authorities during a joint operation in Brgy. Buenavista, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Sunday.
Nabbed by the 62nd Infantry Battalion, police Special Action Battalion 6, and Guihulngan City Police Station were two NPA leaders identified as Nona Espinosa, with aliases of Ka Ava and Gelay, deputy secretary of Central Negros Front 1 of Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, and Adidas Acero, alias Baldo, vice commanding officer of the Leonardo Panaligan Command Front Organization Command, also a squad leader of the CN1 Sentro de Gravidad Platoon, as well as a member of the NPA Special Partisan Unit.
Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62IB commander, said Espinosa has seven pending arrest warrants for multiple murder, theft, murder, and robbery charges while Acero has a pending arrest warrant for illegal possession of firearms.
He added that Espinosa and Acero were also involved in a series of atrocities in central Negros, especially the ambush-slay of Police Supt. Arnel Arpon and his men, assigned at the Guihulngan City Police Station in Brgy. Magsaysay, Guihulngan City on July 21, 2017.
Also nabbed were Lea Nilles, alias Ka Susan, a member of CN1 Platoon 1 Propaganda Team and spokesperson of Hustisya Central Negros, Xian Flores, Rodrigo Benlot, alias Mori, also a squad leader of CN1; Felix Policher, alias Ka Rusi, CN1 Sentro de Gravidad Platoon medical team member; Analyn Matusado, alias Maynil, also a propaganda team member, and two alleged NPA supporters identified by the Philippine Army as Crispin Diano and Juravilla Baloy, who allegedly harbored the apprehended NPA personalities.
The arrest of the suspected rebels yielded three .45 caliber pistols, a 9mm Glock caliber pistol, a 357 caliber revolver, two hand grenades, assorted ammunition, and dental and medical equipment, Flores said.
He also lauded the timely information provided to them by Buenavista barangay residents that led to the arrest of the rebels.
Flores assured fair treatment to arrested NPA personalities, in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law and in adherence to Human Rights Law.
He said that Espinosa and Matusado, who are pregnant, will be given immediate medical attention.*