Possible release of top rebel leader worries military-A A +A
Saturday, February 18, 2012
THE Philippine Army expressed apprehension over the possible release of top Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) leader Romeo Nanta.
Nanta, who also goes by the names of Juanito Magbanua, Jack Nanta, Juaning, Islao and Kulas, is the head of the NPA’s Regional Operations Command.
Joint police and military elements arrested Nanta last Nov. 7, 2011, at Barangay Zone 2 in Cadiz City by virtue of arrest warrants for rebellion, robbery-in-band, attempted and frustrated murder issued by three different courts in Negros Occidental.
Judge Moises Nifras of the San Carlos City Regional Trial Court (RTC) denied Nanta’s request for bail for robbery-in-band charges. On the other hand, Judge Jose Aguirre of the Himamaylan City RTC and Judge Victor Magahud of the Ilog-Candoni Municipal Circuit Trial Court recommended P200,000 bail for charges of rebellion, frustrated murder and attempted murder.
Based on military and police records, Nanta was responsible for the ambush of a government-owned vehicle in Salamanca village in Toboso town, Negros Occidental last July 13, 2009.
Eryl Baynosa, 42, one of the survivor and son of Eriberto Baynosa, former Salamanca village chief, pointed Nanta as the leader of armed men who led the ambush.
The said incidents claimed the lives of Edmar Sultan, 14, a student of the Toboso National High School, Rodolfo Salipod, 56, driver of the barangay service vehicle, and Ena Pata, 50.
Captain Reylan Java, Public Affairs Officer of the 3rd Infantry Division, said that this early, families of the survivors claimed to be anxious about Nanta’s possible release.
“They (the families) firmly believe that he (Nanta) will rejoin his group and take revenge on them,” Java said.
Military sources claim that apprehended NPA members usually rejoin their group once they get free.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 18, 2012.