AT LEAST 55 persons including nine members of New Peoples’ Army were arrested and several firearms and bullets were recovered when police and military raided three barangays in Bacolod City the other day.
Captain Cenon C. Pancito, spokesman of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division ( ID), identified the arrested “high value target” rebels as John Milton Lozande, Noli LazeranRosales, Proceso Quiatchon, Albert Delacerna, Mary Ann Krueger alias Mary Anne dela Concepcion, Romulo Buto-on, Amatlin Chin-Chin Bito-on, Danilo Tabura and Roberto Lachica.
Pancito said the troops simultaneously served search warrants for violation of comprehensive firearms and ammunition law issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for Barangays 33, Bata and Taculing, all in Bacolod City around 5:45 p.m. on Thursday.
The troops recovered 32 assorted firearms, three fragmentation grenades, two bullets for 40MM grenade launcher and assorted live ammunition .
Pancito said the operation also resulted in the arrest of 40 identified members of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor (KR-NCBS) and 15 newly-recruited individuals , 14 of them are minors coming from different areas in Negros Occidental who are undergoing training and indoctrination. The minors were turned over to the custody of the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSDWO).
The arrested rebels were brought at the CIDG Provincial Field Unit (PFU).
“The state forces were able to prevent their mass base and military-building efforts in Negros Occidental,” said Pancito, adding the implementation of the search warrants was an offshoot of validated reports from concerned citizens on the presence of suspicious armed men visiting the raided areas.
He said the premises were being used for training and indoctrination of minors by the NPAs.