AN ALLEGED member of the New People’s Army (NPA), who is wanted for murder charges, was arrested in Sitio Taclongan, Barangay Linantuyan in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
Robert Estorco, alias “Janggo,” was arrested in a joint operation of Intensified Intel Operations, the 62nd Infantry “Unifier” Battalion of the Philippine Army, Guihulngan City Police, and the 704th Regional Mobile Force Battalion 7 and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company.
He was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 64 Judge Arville Delgado of Guihulngan City, who denied him bail.
Recovered from Estorco upon his arrest were a homemade STI .45 caliber pistol with three magazines loaded with 21 serviceable ammunition and suspected dried marijuana leaves with an estimated weight of 1.3 grams, the authorities said.
Estorco is believed to be a member of Regional Striking Force (RSF), Komiteng Rehiyon (KR)-Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor.
Police and military records showed that Estorco is the primary suspect in the killing of a Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) member in January 2019 and of a certain Gretchel Navara Perolino, who was shot dead at Sito Taclongan on May 14, 2021.
The NPA’s RSF-KR operates in Central Negros specifically at the First District of Negros Oriental and Fifth District of Negros Occidental, the military said.
They are in charge of the assassinations through their Special Partisan Units (Sparu), extortion activities, and recruitment of minors among others, the military added.
Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Flores, commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said they sincerely appreciated the residents of Brgy Linantoyan which led to the arrest of Estorco.
“(It) is a clear manifestation that the leadership of the NPA in Negros is already weakened because they can no longer control their personnel even (from) the use of illegal drugs,” Flores said.
“This has resulted in committing heinous crimes, human rights, and international humanitarian law violations of the NPA,” he said.
Flores reiterated their call for the remaining rebels to surrender, lay down their arms, and avail government programs, like the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-Clip, and be reunited with their families.
The army official stressed that together “we should bring peace and development in Central Negros.”