ILOILO CITY – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) targets to arrest seven top leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Panay and Negros islands before the Oct. 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls to ensure peace during the voting exercise.
In an interview on Thursday, Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, chief of the 3rd Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), said while on the loose, the rebel leaders will be a threat to the election because they can still provide direction to their group,
“If we capture them, there could be a leadership breakdown. If there is no leader, their people could not move due to lack of direction,” said.
He added they are trying to dismantle all remaining guerrilla fronts by Sept. 30, but President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has given them until the end of this year to end insurgency so they can already focus on territorial defense.
“We are given the timeline to end the local armed conflict. Their capture would help end the insurgency problem in Panay and Negros,” Javines said.
The Army official also asked for the public's help with any information leading to the arrest of the seven CPP-NPA leaders whose heads carry a total bounty of PHP11.25 million.
In a statement, the Philippine Army identified the wanted top rebels as Ma. Concepcion Bocala, alias Concha, 1st deputy secretary of Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (KR-Panay); Roberto Cabales, alias Ted/Lloyd/William, secretary, Central Front, KR-Panay; Roberto Gomia, alias Toto/Miller, 1st deputy secretary, Southern Front, KR-Panay; Severino Geonago alias Berin/Dario/Tisoy, political guide, Team 2, Squad 1, SYP Platoon of KR-Panay; Nahum Camariosa alias Bebong, commanding officer, SYP Platoon, Southern Front , KR-Panay; Arlo Vargas, alias Allen, Squad Leader, Squad 1, Regional Striking Force, KR-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (NCBS); and Magno Flores alias Edgar, 1st deputy secretary, CN2-W, KR-NCBS.
Bocala, being the highest-ranking leader, has a warrant of arrest for rebellion with a bounty of PHP5.3 million; Cabales, PHP3.1 million; Gomia, PHP1.05 million; PHP500,000 each for Vargas, Geonago, and Flores; and PHP150,000 for Camariosa.
Javines said the top leaders are not hiding, but with the armed group in the mountains.
“With the bounty, maybe they would be willing to provide us information leading to their arrest,” he added.
The public may report any information to the nearest police or military stations or contact the Division Public Affairs (DPAO) at 3ID Hotline – 0927-623-9321 or message the Division’s Facebook Page – Philippine Army Spearhead Troopers. (PNA)