NPA leader captured in Capiz joint operation

CAPIZ. Prominent NPA leader Tonying Balois captured in joint operation in Capiz on June 25, 2024.
CAPIZ. Prominent NPA leader Tonying Balois captured in joint operation in Capiz on June 25, 2024.Photo by 3DPAO

A PROMINENT leader and extortionist of the Communist New People's Army (NPA) Terrorist (CNT) in Panay Island was captured in Capiz on June 25, 2024.

A 56-year-old man, known as Tonying Balois, was apprehended during a joint operation by the 12th and 82nd Infantry Battalions (IB), Maayon and Cuartero Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Sitio Siwalang, Barangay Tapulang, Maayon, Capiz. The operation took place around 7:50 a.m.

Balois, a native of Barangay Katipunan, Tapaz, Capiz, held various leadership positions within the NPA's Madia-as Dos, Central Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (CF, KR-P).

Authorities confirmed he had nine outstanding warrants of arrest for serious crimes including murder, illegal explosives possession, rebellion, robbery, and violating anti-piracy laws.

A bounty of P150,000 was offered for his capture.

Beyond his violent criminal past, Balois gained notoriety for extortion schemes across Panay, particularly in central Capiz.

His targets included business owners, construction companies, farmers, and even low-income civilians.

Authorities said he was also linked to equipment burning, youth recruitment, and terrorizing communities in several towns.

Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade, highlighted the significance of Balois' capture in a recent interview.

"The apprehension of Tonying is a setback for the communist terrorist group (CTG) in Panay and good news for our businessmen, contractors, and politicians because he is a notorious extortionist. We are still consolidating more information and witnesses on the extent of his extortion activities and operations to further bolster the criminal charges against him," Samson said.

Samson anticipated further arrests of NPA members following Balois’ arrest.

Major General Marion Sison, commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, commended the joint task force for their collaborative effort.

"This success is a testament to the strong partnership between the Army and Philippine National Police (PNP)," Sison said.

Sison believes Balois' capture weakens the CNT's operations in Panay, ultimately aiming to establish a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security (Sips) on the island.

Military officials are optimistic that Balois' capture will cripple the CNT's extortion activities and terroristic acts, ultimately leading to their downfall.

The operation signifies a significant step toward a more peaceful environment on Panay Island. (Leo Solinap)

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