Friday, February 21, 2014

Government security forces nab another top CPP-NPA leader in Negros


From the Website of Philippine Army
links: http://www.army.mil.ph/pr/2014/feb/180214.html

Government security forces nab another top CPP-NPA leader in Negros

Talisay City, Negros Occidental – Combined security forces of the AFP and the PNP arrested a certain Romulo Bitoon around 6:10a.m. yesterday February 17, 2014 at the vicinity of Hacienda Dos Hermanas, Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

Bitoon was arrested by virtue of warrants of arrest for Murder with case number 4311-C issued by Judge Renato Muñes of Cadiz City and Arson with case number 4201 issued by RTC 59, San Carlos City.

Bitoon, as identified by a former NPA rebel who is now in the mainstream society, is alias MOLONG, Secretary of the Regional United White Area Committee and at the same time a member of the Executive Committee (EXECOM) of Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (RUWAC, KR-N).

Col Jon Aying, Commander of 303rd Brigade said, “This is another development that the peace loving people of Negros want to hear as we continue to pursue our goal to have a just and lasting peace in our society. This will add up to the leadership crisis within the CPP-NPA.”

Bitoon’s murder case involved in the killing of late Lt Archie Polenzo of 62nd Infantry Battalion in Cadiz City in a sniping incident perpetrated by the Haggard Platoon, Northern Negros Front, KR-N.
While his (Bitoon’s) Arson case involved in the burning of Victorias Milling Company Transloading station in Brgy San Jose, Toboso, Negros Occidental on March 16, 2008 where two (2) cranes, four (4) prime movers and one (1) teen-wheeler truck were burned by the NPA.

In April 5, 2010, Bitoon was arrested and jailed for his case of arson but bailed out in the amount of P150, 000.00.

Major General Aurelio Baladad, Commander of 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army said, “The arrest of Bitoon is another significant accomplishment of the convergence of efforts of all the stakeholders who have been working with us in our peace and security operations here in the Region. We have strengthened our resolve to bring criminals behind bar of justice and we continue with our commitment to maintain an environment conducive to development.”

Prior to Bitoon’s arrest, Victor Tapang alias ARDEM/GIDEON/KENNETH also a ranking leader of KR-N, was arrested by the government authorities last February 15, 2014 in Silay City, Negros Occidental for the case of Murder and Robbery in band.

The successful series of arrests can be attributed to the convergence of efforts among the AFP, PNP, other stakeholders involved in the security sector and the peace loving citizens of Negros.

Baladad stressed that “The people of Western Visayas particularly the victims of violence perpetrated by the CPP-NPA deserve to attain justice and live in a peaceful society. We will continue to support the PNP in implementing arrest to those who are facing charges in our courts of law.

Likewise, we should collaborate with one another to address the root causes of conflict to achieve just and lasting peace. We should shun violence and work together in creating an environment of peace for us to solve our societal problems.”

“Armed struggle is not the solution to our societal problems. We call on to the rest of the CPP-NPA members to lay down their arms, abandon the armed struggle and return to the comfort of their families and join us in bringing peace and development especially to the communities in the countryside,” Baladad added.

Bitoon is now detained at Talisay PNP station.

Press Release by the 3ID, PA



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