44 rebels yield: Army
The Army's 3 rd Infantry Division said in its report that 44 rebels in Negros and Panay had surrendered last year to its infantry units.
Maj. Rey Tiongson said that, of the 44 rebel surrenderees, 21 surrendered to the 302 nd and 303 rd Infantry Brigades in Negros island, military records show.
“We expect more members of the New People's Army in Negros and Panay to surrender and return to the mainstream society, as they realized the futility of armed struggle,” Tiongson said.
He also said fighting each other is not the solution, it will just create more problems and the people are at the losing end.
Frank Fernandez, spokesman of the National Democratic Front-Negros, in a statement it issued, however, belittled the implementation of the Negros First Policy and Provincial Peace Integration and Development Unit of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., that he described as expensive programs, that had no effect at all on the ordinary people.
The Pro-PIDU initiative of the provincial government of Negros Occidental is being implemented in 20 hinterland barangays of Escalante City, Toboso and Calatrava (ESTOCA), where the influence of the rebel movement on the populace has been noted.
Fernandez said the so-called “rebel surrenderees” claimed by the military had either long left the rebel movement, or had been dismissed from their organization.
The ESTOCA areas have been the focus of the Philippine Army for more than six months in 2013 for their “winning the peace” campaign, in tandem with multi-sectoral groups, through the Pro-PIDU, a sub-committee of the Provincial Peace and Order Council chaired by Marañon.
Tiongson said the Philippine Army in Western Visayas fully supports the effort of the government to end the insurgency as it hinders the progress of the country, especially in Negros and Panay.*GPB
Two drug suspects
A man was arrested for allegedly pushing illegal drugs in Purok Cereza South, Brgy. 3 in Bacolod City, at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Station 2 chief, Senior Insp. Jovil Sedel, yesterday identified the suspect as Jeffrey Salazar, 36, of Brgy. 6 in Bacolod, who allegedly also uses drugs and has been under police surveillance for a long time now.
Sedel said intelligence operatives of Station 2 were monitoring the area when they spotted Salazar selling suspected illegal drugs to an unidentified man on a motorcycle.
The man fled when the two policemen, who were in civilian clothes, approached and identified themselves, Sedel said.
When they frisked Salazar, they recovered five elongated heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected shabu, with market value of about P2,500, an improvised tooter, a disposable lighter, and a Nokia cellular phone. An improvised ice pick, P15,000 in cash believed proceeds from the illegal sale of the substance, and a black Honda motorcycle, with no plate number, were also seized from the suspect, police records show.
Salazar, who refused to be interviewed, cried at the police station when he was told that he may face charges of illegal possession of drugs and its paraphernalia and, for shabu use, the police said.
Sedel said they will wait for the result of the analysis of the seized items and the drug test on Salazar done yesterday at the Provincial Crime Laboratory, before filing the charges at the Bacolod Prosecutor's Office.
Meanwhile, a suspected drug pusher was apprehended in a buy-bust operation by the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group at his house in Purok Sigay, Brgy. 2 in Bacolod, at about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.
CAIDSOTG chief, Senior Insp. Neil Exaltado, said Richard Gallenero, 39, was nabbed after he handed to a poseur-buyer, a small heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected shabu, in exchange for P200.
Aside from the marked money, the police also recovered from Gallenero a small heat-sealed plastic sachet and an elongated heat-sealed plastic sachet, also of suspected shabu, and several illegal drugs paraphernalia, police records show.
Barangay Captain Richard Barbers and kagawad Victor Aliguen of Brgy. 2 witnessed the inventory of the seized items, Exaltado said.
Gallenero will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the police said.*SGG