Rebels' extortion activities crippled: military-A A +A
Saturday, June 30, 2012
THE recapture of a suspected finance officer of the New People's Army in northern Negros Occidental will adversely affect the rebel group's extortion activities, military said.
Robert Espinosa, alias Bert and Delmar, was re-arrested by the police in Victorias City around 12 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay 6-A, Villa Miranda, Victorias City
The Armed Forces considers Espinosa as the NPA's chief extortionist, as he is the one in charge of collecting revolutionary taxes from planters and other personalities in the northern Negros area.
Colonel Oscar Lactao, commanding officer of the Army's 303rd Brigade, said Espinosa is the regional finance officer of the Komiteng Reyonal Negros of the rebel group and is ranked No. 9 in the underground organization.
Aside from collecting revolutionary taxes, Lactao said that Espinosa is allegedly the one conducting surveillance and casing operations on targets of raids and ambushes by the NPA.
Lactao said that they are checking whether Espinosa could be considered to have jumped bail after he was arrested in 2009 for illegal possession of firearms by the Bacolod City Police Office.
He was re-arrested based on warrants of arrests for arson, robbery in band, two counts of homicide and physical injuries.
Lactao said that the re-arrest of Espinosa also confirmed their belief that arrested NPA personalities who can post bail always rejoin their comrades and continue with their tasks as part of the NPA organization.
Lactao added that the funds collected by the NPA rebels in their extortion activities are being allegedly used by the leaders to send their children to exclusive schools and to use as bail money for arrested NPA personalities.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 01, 2012.