• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division strongly condemned remnants of the New People’s Army for killing a businessman and a known supporter of government peace and development efforts in northern Negros, on January 2, at Purok Kawayan in Brgy. Bug-ang, Toboso, Negros Occidental.
This is after the NPA Roselyn Jean Pelle Command claimed responsibility for the killing of Juvie Sarona, who it alleged as leader of a gun for hire linked to the Sagay 9 massacre in Negros Occidental in 2018
Sarona, according to Lt. Col. J Jay Javines, 3ID Civil Military Operations officer, was a simple farmer and businessman engaged in buying and selling of sugarcane trucks, and known for his strong support to government peace and development initiatives and collaboration with the military and police in anti-communist campaigns.
Javines said that Sarona had even hired former rebels in his furniture shop and other business ventures to help them return to mainstream society and live peaceful lives with their families.
While the Toboso PNP has yet to establish the motive behind the killing of Sarona, Javines said initial police investigations indicated that at least 15 armed intruders forcibly entered the victim’s residence and opened fire at him, without any reason.
The victim, who succumbed to multiple gunshot injuries, was reported by the police to be declared dead on arrival at the Lopez District Hospital in Sagay City.
Recovered from the scene of the incident were 25 fired cartridges of an M16 assault rifle.
Rebel spokesperson Cecille Estrella, in a statement, said they also torched the tractor of the Sarona family.
MGen Sison extended his deepest sympathy to Sarona’s grieving family, as he strongly condemned the ruthless act, he encouraged them to file a complaint against the CTG for violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
Sison assured the family of the 3ID’s support in seeking justice for the death of Sarona as relentless operations will be launched to haunt the perpetrators.
“We should not be cowed and intimidated by this incident. We should understand that the CTG have engaged in this killing spree because they wanted to instill and grip our people in fear so as to isolate them from our government and the security forces,” he stressed.
Sison vowed that they will not allow the NPA remnants to reestablish their influence and presence in northern Negros communities.
The Northern Negros Front of the NPA was already declared as dismantled by the 3ID since last year.
Estrella linked Sarona and his group to the Sagay 9 Massacre on October 20, 2018 in Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
The rebel spokesman further claimed that the RJPC-NPA s operatives recovered an M2 carbine with four magazines containing 51 ammunition, three M16 rifle magazines containing 76 ammunition, a Colt .45 caliber pistol with two magazines containing four ammunition, a .357 caliber Magnum revolver with four ammunition, a homemade 12-gauge shotgun with five bullets, identification cards, and four cellular phones.*