• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The long arm of the law finally caught up with a top ranking rebel leader and two others in northern Negros.
The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade reported yesterday the apprehension of a ranking leader of the New People’s Army and two others during a joint military and police operation in Sitio Pinamactinan, Barangay Cambayobo, in Calatrava town, Negros Occidental.
Col. Mike Samson, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that the arrest of three rebels who are remnants of the dismantled Northern Negros Front (NNF) under the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, on January 6 led to the confiscation of two caliber .45 pistols and a 9mm pistol with magazines containing ammunition, four rifle grenades, P4,106 in cash and three backpacks containing personal belongings.
Nabbed during the combined operations of the 79th Infantry Battalion, Special Action Battalion 6 of the PNP and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 were Felix Susas Jr., with aliases of Rigor, Kenneth, Glemore and Dapin, commanding officer of the SYP Platoon and secretary of the Northern Negros Front (NNF), and his wife, Jalen Susas, with aliases of Cristel, Izumi and CG, the acting finance officer, medical and educational staff of NNF; as well as Cheryl Catalogo, alias Celo, a member of the NNF Educational Staff.
Susas has pending criminal cases for murder, homicide, illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Human Security Act of 2007, with arrest warrants issued by San Carlos Regional Trial Court Judge Arville Delgado and Silay RTC Judge Dyna Doll Chiongson.
The arrested rebel leader was denied bail by the court, for the murder of Lalong barangay chairman Benjamen Javoc in August 26 last year, and that of Renato Estrebillo in the same month, in Brgy. Marcelo, all in Calatrava, police records showed.
Samson said that the apprehension of the three NPA personalities is the prompt response of government forces to hold those responsible for atrocities like murder, arson and extortion activities in northern Negros, and face the bar of justice.
In statement, Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, lauded the troops for the successful operations against the three rebel personalities and thanked the residents for trusting government soldiers by reporting the presence of the terrorists who have sown fear in their community.
“We were able to prevent the atrocities and potential harm the CPP-NPA terrorist might inflict against the people,” Arevalo said.*