Army hikes reward for rebel priest



BACOLOD CITY—The military has increased to nearly P8 million the reward for the capture of one of the most elusive and highest ranking leaders of the communist underground movement, a priest-turned-rebel, in Negros Occidental.

Col. Oscar Lactao, head of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the reward for the capture of Fr. Frank Fernandez was increased from P5 million to P7.8 million, quoting a memo from the armed forces headquarters.

Lactao said the cash reward will come from funds being allotted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police for the capture of the country’s most wanted persons.

Fernandez, a Catholic priest, is secretary of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) regional committee based in Negros Occidental.

He is also known by his aliases Ibarra, Kanor, Suilo and Ago and is wanted for four counts of murder and attempted murder.

According to the military, Fernandez supervises the operations of at least four guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army on Negros Island that has at least 200 fighters.

Rewards for the capture of dozens of other communist leaders have been put up by the government. They include Arlo Vargas.

In a statement, the CPP on Wednesday condemned the bounty, which total P466.8 million for 235 communist leaders.

“The reward system will only be used by military and police officials to pocket millions of pesos and commit grave violations of human rights,” the CPP said in its statement.

The rewards were announced in an order by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of National Defense which was recently released by Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

Leading the list of wanted rebel leaders are New People’s Army alleged top commander Benito Tiamzon, CPP-National Finance Commission head Wilma Tiamzon, National Democratic Front-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge Madlos and NPA Eastern Mindanao leader Leoncio Pitao.

The CPP said the number of wrongful arrests is expected to increase as a result of the reward offer, citing the case of a security guard who was arrested with his wife, son and daughter-in-law last Oct. 5 in Quezon City.

The security guard, Rolly Panesa, was tagged by the military as Benjamin Mendoza, a top communist leader in Southern Tagalog who carries a P5-million reward for his capture.

“We can anticipate more cases of false arrests,” said the CPP.

It said the reward offer seeks to “demonize and criminalize the revolutionary cause and works against achieving a political resolution to the armed conflict through peaceful negotiations.”

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  • ConstructiveMediaCritics


  • blainz

    The man is wanted for murder. Demonize and criminalize? This “revolutionary cause” is funded by “revolutionary taxes” aka protection rackets. There is no political resolution for what amounts to be an organized crime syndicate. And how can there can be a peaceful negotiation as long as  profit is being made by extortion. For all the talk on communist principles, the bottom line is… it’s still a business for the bottom line.

    “We can anticipate more cases of false arrests,” said the CPP.

    Well, there’s a sure way to get the number of false arrests to zero. They can volunteer themselves to the nearest precinct or army base.

    • Chava Villabona

      “Well, there’s a sure way to get the number of false arrests to zero. They can volunteer themselves to the nearest precinct or army base.” – wishful thinking again

  • Datukalun

    The Priest know’s that communism is GODLESS revolutionary group that believes in killings w/c I think a true priest shouldnt do. CPP/NPA eat at the very poor peoples sweat. They Tax or else burn or kill to coerce people for the said revolutionary tax.But whom are they protecting? They never protect the people Because they are not the New peoples Army but China’s Peoples Army. They received support Money etc too from China.So even their Political groups the Bayan Muna KMU Anak Pawis etc.Always march against all of the Philippine Pres.and its government But they never even once March against CHINA who were bullying our Fisherman/Navy and taking our very own territory.CPP/NPA even made a pact w/ the other rebels like the MILF/MNLF/ even the ABUS who were terrorizing the people then so who are they protecting they protect even politicians that pays them so its still in tagalog pera pera lang iyan.And Human Rigths group what ever happened to CPP/NPA killing fields I didnt hear any developmemnt from that anymore how about the M/V Karagatan?????????????

    • Chava Villabona

      you are so funny. so full of false allegations. question: which intelligence office are you working for? can you at least try to make your writing more believable?

      • Datukalun

        Hope you really know the truth behind all.Just ask them why they did not rally against CHINA even CHINA was already taking our territories and bullying our fisherman and navies.Ask or re search for who was the people and supporter behind the M/V Karagatan smuggling of high powered riffles to promote havoc and chaos to this country and how many have already died because of this.Please re search the CPP/NPA killing fields.Who are the CPP/NPA political organizations.And try to re search the world communist approach to deceive the world through Political and revolutionary tactics.Have you seen Churches in China NOKOR what happened to the Churches during the time of Lenin in Russia Do think they are truly a believer of GOD of Jesus Christ.They could even be one of the hands of what We called the anti CHRIST.

  • m1600

    sayang lang ang pera sa mga DE MON OY na yan hantayin nalang na ma parehas kay GREGORIO ROSAL NA pinahirapan muna sa sakit bago kinuha ni TAning.

  • $14334231

    why not SALARY WAGE HIKES for the enlisted personnel, huh?……..

  • ramelatilano

    ha ha ha natakot…pero pag sila ang pumatay…ok lang…ano na ba yan….eh dapat lang hindi ba alam ng CPP na sa Negros lang ang daming mahihirap doon dahil doon…kulang rabaho sa tubuhan dahil takot sa gulo…ang sunod dyan sasabihin na naman ng karapatan na dahil sa military…ha ha ha…pag walang npa wala rin ang military… happy lahat…pag tahimik…daming trabaho…daming output…di ba wlang gulo..

    • Chava Villabona

      “so happy lahat…pag tahimik…daming trabaho…daming output…di ba wlang gulo.” – wishful thinking

  • Ulpiano Jotojot

    CBCP = CPP-NPA………….. CBCP=CPP-NPA…………..Obvious di ba ?

    • Chava Villabona

      hindi obvious.

  • joboni96

    ganyan ba kagaling
    si ka father

    mukhang ok sya
    sa ginagalawan niyang
    mga komunidad

    para kailangan ng p8 milyones
    para isuplong

    sana’y may ganyan din para kay
    aman scammer

  • opinyonlangpo

    Somebody in the losing side of the battle is seeking help from the people. This priest must be very good in guerilla warfare and wide support from the region. What could have caused a God fearing man join and lead the NPA? Anyone?

  • EREC

    Fernandez, a Catholic priest, this Roman-Catholic priest must be rebellious against Vatican not to the Philippine Republic. If he condemned the unrighteous practices of Vatican highrarchy  it will be better for the lives of Pilipino but since then he is against democracy and freedom with that govern by elective officials, his mind setting and inductrination have been the same with vATICAN. . . . . already decades past…Pilipinos not noticed that Vatican already put a church-state in Philippine terretory.

    Im baptized Roman-catholic but I have the right to voice out my gravances against how Vatican highrarchy manipulated our politicians and the catholics follower that putting the lives under poverty for so long in order it will always served the Roman-catholic highrarchy interest to support them financial by way of donations but there is no return to catholic followers.

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