THE arrest of a former town mayor in Jagna, Bohol for 15 counts of murder last Saturday was not tainted with politics, a key official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (Centcom) assured.
Lieutenant General Nicanor Vivar, commander of Centcom, said the arrest of former Jagna mayor Exuperio Lloren has nothing to do with the elections next year.
“There’s no political motive in his arrest because we only did our duty, which is to nab someone who has a pending warrant,” Vivar said.
Lloren was arrested at 10:45 a.m. in Barangay Pahina of the same town in a joint military and police operation due to a pending arrest warrant issued by a trial court in Manila.
The warrant, issued by Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina, was for the 15 bodies excavated from a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte in 2006.
The bodies were believed to be those of a rebel group’s former members killed in suspicion that they were government spies, said Senior Supt. Ritchie Posadas, regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7.
The “purging” of members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), was reportedly done in the late 80s by at least 71 rebel group members.
Lloren, being the front secretary of CPP-NPA that time, was allegedly one of the alleged massacre’s 71 suspects, which also include Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria, who were arrested in Aloguinsan, Cebu last March 22, 2014.
Posadas said Lloren was only arrested this year and not in 2006 because of the many aliases he used.
A warrant had been served on Lloren before but he resisted, saying the name of the warrant was not his real name.
Posadas said that Lloren’s aliases include Johnny, Nilo, Eksan, Berting, Macion, Exusperado and Examperio.
Lloren was brought to Camp Crame in Quezon City yesterday morning so the warrant could be returned to the issuing judge, Posadas said.
Vivar said they are going to check whether Lloren, who had served as a town mayor for three terms from 2004 to 2013, has left the rebel group or not.
Posadas said they will still have to check the number of suspects in the alleged massacre left to arrest.