BACOLOD

Negros rebel leader arrested in Capiz

AN ALLEGED leader of the New People's Army (NPA) in Negros was arrested, Sunday, June 23, by operatives of the Police Regional Office-6 (PRO 6) in Poblacion Tacas, Cuartero, Capiz.

PRO-6 Director, Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao identified the rebel leader as Virgilio Paragan, 54, and a resident of Dumalag town in Capiz.

According to Bulalacao, Paragan is the commanding officer of the Roger Mahinay Command, Komite Rehiyon-Negros and was active from the year 2000 to 2004.

Paragan later decided to lay low after he was involved in a string of killings and ambushes against members of the police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit.

The alleged NPA leader was also identified as one of the most wanted persons from Police Regional Office-7 in Central Visayas for multiple murder and attempted murder charges.

He was also listed as a wanted terrorist under the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense with a bounty of P1,050,000.

Bulalacao said Paragan took the alias of Baltasar Saldo after deciding to hide and later worked as a helper in a local business establishment in Capiz.

When the suspect was presented at Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City, Paragan was positively identified by the next of kin of a former rebel who served under his command.

In response to Paragan's arrest, both the intelligence units of PRO-6 and the Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division are now validating if the suspect is also maintaining contacts with NPA rebels based in Antique.


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