Thu. May 19th, 2022

Charges of illegal possession of explosives, firearms, and ammunition have been filed against three arrested New People’s Army (NPA) rebels before the Kabankalan City Prosecutor’s Office.

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The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) confirmed the development on Friday, two days after the complaint was lodged by the Ilog Municipal Police Station and the provincial police Investigation Unit.

Charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 9516 or Unlawful Possession of Explosives and RA 10591 or Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition were Ronel Bordago and Joebel Mabayag.

Nilda Bertulano, secretary of the NPA’s South West Front Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, was also charged with violation of RA 9516, a non-bailable case.

“I congratulate the members of the [operating units] for the successful operation of liberating the residents of Sitio Balik-balik, Barangay Tabu, Ilog against NPA terrorism,” said Col. Romy Palgue, provincial director of NOCPPO, in a statement.

The three were arrested following a clash in Ilog, Negros Occidental on Sept. 14.

The encounter between government troops resulted in the death of four NPA rebels and the wounding of two others, including Bertulano and Bordago.

The operation was conducted by troops of the Philippine National Police- Special Action Force 6th Special Action Battalion, Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion, and NOCPPO 2nd Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company.

“We offer our prayers for the fast recovery of residents against the trauma caused by this firefight which only happened because of the NPA presence in the area,” Palgue added.

After the encounter, troops recovered high-powered firearms, including M16 rifle, M14 rifle, M203 grenade launcher, AK47 assault rifle, and caliber .38 revolver, all loaded with ammunition, as well as two hand grenades, two 40mm explosives, and detonating cords, among others.

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