ILOILO CITY - The leader of a unit of the New People’s Army of Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay was arrested Tuesday afternoon in this city for murder, Colonel Benedicto Arevalo, commander of the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Battalion said yesterday.
Joint elements of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group 6 and the 301st IB’s Intelligence Task Group arrested Salvador Hisuan, alias Kumander Pepe/Speed, at around 5:45 p.m. along Ledesma Street, City Proper, by virtue of a warrant of arrest for murder with the use of unlicensed firearm.
Hisuan, commander of the Regional Sentro De Grabidad or the Regional Operations Command (ROC), is a “very notorious” rebel leader in Panay and they have been monitoring him for a long time, Arevalo said.
“This is a lesson learned that the law could still catch up with them even if they hide for a very long time,” he said.
He recalled that Hisuan was involved in the land mine blast targeting troops of the 47th Infantry Battalion and Scout Rangers in Barangay Datagan in Calinog, Iloilo that resulted in the killing of nine soldiers and wounding of 18 others.
He said Hisuan was also responsible for the killing of Captain Abelardo Motia of the 12th Infantry Battalion, who was gunned down during a fiesta in Dumarao, Capiz. These incidents both happened in 2005.
Arevalo added that the arrested NPA leader is also responsible for the burning of equipment of individuals in Panay, who refused to give in to their extortion demands.
“This will bring a big impact because he is involved in extortion activities,” he said.
Hisuan is now under police custody. Arevalo refrained from disclosing the location for security reasons.
Arevalo also said that before the arrest of Hisuan, three rebels, who are members of Strike Force of Sentro De Grabidad (SDG) of the Central Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay, surrendered to the Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion based in Camp Monteclaro in Barangay Igtuba, Miag-ao, Iloilo at around 12:10 p.m.
They are identified as Marlon Castor Lozada alias Niko, 34; Jomar Camarig Depalubos alias PG, 29, both residents of Sitio Inuscan, Barangay Cahigon, Calinog, Iloilo; and Pablito Lozada Depalubos alias Atlas, 49, of Sitio Tinabasan, Barangay Buri, Tapaz, Capiz.
Arevalo said the surrenderers will avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program that provides incentives, to include P15,000 in immediate cash assistance, P50,000 in livelihood assistance, P45,000 to P90,000 firearm remuneration depending on the type of firearm surrendered, and access to other government assistance.
“There will also be additional assistance, like housing, educational, health and many more,” he said.
Arevalo said these rebels might have been tired of hiding. He added that they might also want to live peaceful lives with their families.
Arevalo assured that they will continue with their mission to pressure the rebel groups so they could not harm or harass civilians in Panay.*PNA
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