DUMAGUETE CITY – Government forces have arrested three high-ranking members of a dismantled guerilla front of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Calatrava town, Negros Occidental province on Friday night.
A report released by the 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) of the Philippine Army on Saturday identified the three as Felix Susas Jr., alias "Rigor/Budok," secretary of the defunct Northern Negros Front (NNF) and former commanding officer of the Regional Security Force-Komiteng Rehiyon Negros; Cherryl Catalogo, alias "Celo," NFF education staff; and Jalen Susas, alias "Cristel/Izumi/Cg," NFF medical and education staff.
They were arrested in Sitio Pinamactinan, Barangay Cambayobo by troops of the 79IB, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6, 1st Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company, the 6th Special Action Battalion of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force, and Calatrava and Toboso police.
Seized from the suspects were two .45-caliber pistols with two magazines and seven rounds of live ammunition; one 9mm pistol with magazine, holster and 18 rounds of live ammunition; four rifle grenades; personal belongings; medicines; and subversive documents.
Felix Susas has a standing arrest warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) issued by the Guihulngan City Regional Trial Court Branch 64 and is facing homicide charges in Silay City.
Meanwhile, Jalen Susas has two murder cases for the deaths of Renato Estrebillo on Aug. 12, 2022 in Barangay Marcelo, and Barangay Lalong chairperson Benjamin Javoc on Aug. 26, 2022.
Lt. Colonel J-jay Javines, commanding officer of the 79IB, attributed the success of the operation to the concerted efforts of the police and military and the residents who provided timely information about extortion and recruitment activities in Barangay Cambayobo and adjacent villages.
He also called on the remnants of the defunct NNF to lay down their arms, live a normal life with their families, and avail of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
"We are more than willing to welcome you back into the mainstream society. Our government has laid [out] programs for rebels who wish to surrender, such as E-CLIP. For those who do not wish to surrender, we will relentlessly hunt you down until you will have no other option but to lay down your arms and surrender or die fighting for a futile cause," Javines said in a statement. (PNA)