Rebel leader arrested in Negros OccidentalBy Carla P. Gomez, Joey A. Gabieta
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines—Police intelligence operatives arrested a ranking communist leader in Negros Occidental on Friday, less than 24 hours after two soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in an attack staged by the New People’s Army in Leyte.
Aniceta Rojo was collared in Barangay (village) Poblacion, Bago City, Negros Occidental on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Cadiz Regional Trial Court Judge Renato Muñez for the crime of murder.
Superintendent William Senoron, Regional Intelligence Unit chief for Western Visayas, said Rojo was accused of taking part in the killing of Lieutenant Archie Polenzo, a company commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion in Cadiz City two years ago.
Rojo was listed on the police order of battle as a member of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros regional finance and education committees. She was turned over by her captors to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Cadiz City.
The arrest of Rojo brought to 21 the number of high-profile CPP-NPA personalities arrested in Negros Occidental since 2007. But 16 of them, who managed to post bail and were released from jail, have gone back to the mountains to continue the armed struggle, military records show.
Rojo’s arrest came less than 24 hours after NPA rebels killed two soldiers and wounded three others in an ambush in Barangay (village) Rubas, Jaro town in Leyte.
The fatalities were identified as Pfc Ariel Cahanap and Pfc Jacob Bacolando.
Wounded were Pfc Ron Van Bura-Ay, Pfc Russel Paderna and Pfc Gilbert Serdena, all of whom were were taken to the Ormoc Sugarcane Planters Association-Farmers’ Medical Center in Ormoc City for treatment.
Capatain Drandreb Canto, spokesperson of the 802nd Infantry Brigade based in Ormoc City, said the soldiers were on patrol in Barangay Rubas, about 15 km from the town center, when they were fired at by 10 rebels about 8 p.m. on Thursday.
An hour later, a group of 10 rebels fired at soldiers in Barangay Atipolo in Albuera town, also in Leyte.
The military declared Leyte as an insurgency-free province last year, which was supposed to mean that the number of the rebels operating in the province had so much they could no longer stage significant attacks.