New People’s Army admits killing of RPA-ABB leader

THE Armando Sumayang Command South West Negros Guerilla Front of New People’s Army (NPA) owned up the killing of a commander of Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental three weeks ago.

In a press statement dated September 27, Andrea Guerrero, spokesperson of the rebel group, said Jovanie Banista, 50, a sixth district commander of RPA-ABB based in Barangay Locotan, Kabankalan City, had engaged in illegal gambling and illegal drugs as protector, particularly in areas of Bantayan, Magballo and Manduaw in Kabankalan City.

Guerrero added that Banista was also involved in corruption and illegal logging.

She said that Banista was hired as a personal bodyguard and hitman of politicians in southern Negros especially during the elections last year.

The rebel group also alleged that Banista was an instrument of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police in counter-insurgency operations against the revolutionary movement.

They added that he was also involved in human rights violation against civilians, and in hold-up incidents victimizing businessmen.

On September 9, Banista was gunned down by about 12 armed men on his way home from Barangay Bantayan.

In August 2014, he was seriously wounded when he was also ambushed by the same assailants at Purok Cubay in the same village.
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