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Rebels terrorize hinterland folk of Toboso, Calatrava

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Another victim of NPA terror campaign, as reported by the Philippine Army, was identified as Renato Estrebello in Sitio Huebesan, Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava.* PNP photo

The New People’s Army remnants in northern Negros are now engaged in a “killing rampage,” terrorizing the populace in the hinterlands of Toboso and Calatrava, to discourage them from supporting the military, Lt Col. J-Jay Javines, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.

In a span of two weeks, two civilians were killed by suspected NPA rebels in Sitios Kamao and Huebesan, all in Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava, aside from their involvement in separate killings in the Toboso hinterlands in previous months.

Among those recently killed by rebels were Rodel Nobleza and Renato Estrebello, according to authorities.

Javines said that the group of NPA remnants led by Arnel Tapang, alias Jong, have shifted recovery of their lost territories in the Toboso and Calatrava areas, after failing to do so in the second and third districts of Negros Occidental, following neutralization of their local cadres.

Tapang, a resident of Toboso, still has local cadres in the boundary of Toboso and Calatrava, where they are now mobilizing to regain the support of their former supporters, he added.

Javines said the civilians killed by communist rebels are not military informants.

The primary purpose of rebel atrocities is aimed at “creating an atmosphere of fear” among the populace, noting that when he called for a meeting with residents in those areas, nobody dared to attend out of fear.

Javines said that several ranking leaders of dismantled NPA Northern Negros Front have already been neutralized after being killed in encounters or captured in gun battles.*

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