A suspected leader of the New People’s Army, with a pending arrest warrant for murder, was apprehended Tuesday by troopers of the Army’s 32nd Division Reconnaissance Company in Sitio Cunalom, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
The arrest of Biboy Espinas, alias Miro and Richard, yielded a .38 caliber revolver with five live ammunition and subversive documents with high intelligence value, Maj. Rey Tiongson, spokesman of the 3rd Infantry Division, said yesterday.
Tiongson said the 32nd DRC troopers also found out that Espinas has a pending arrest warrant for murder, for the death of Army 1Lt. Archie Polenzo in Cadiz City, almost four years ago.
Revelations of former rebels who have joined the mainstream society also identified Espinas as a member of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros Finance Bureau and former spokesman of the KR-N Northern Negros Front, he also said.
Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said Espinas is also liable for illegal possession of firearms, because of the unlicensed gun recovered from him.
Tiongson said Espinas was seen with the group of four individuals in the sitio, who had in plain view, a .38 caliber revolver. However, the three other persons were released and turned over to officials of Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City.
While the three other individuals were released and treated humanely, he said Espinas was brought to the Himamaylan police, after he was apprised of his constitutional rights, and underwent a medical check up.
Espinas is among the NPA leaders, now in jail, after being implicated in the death of Polenzo, a company commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, in March 2010.
Militant groups have condemned the military and police for what they described as “trumped-up” charges, being filed against members and leaders of progressive organizations in Negros Occidental.
“With the apprehension of Espinas, the peace and order situation in Negros Occidental will be much better. The rule of law must always prevail and we will ensure that justice will be attained by the victims of the CPP-NNPA-NDF and Espinas,” Brig. Gen Francisco Patrimonio, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said in a statement he issued.
Patrimonio attributed the successful arrest of Espinas to the convergence of efforts among the Philippine Army, the PNP, and other stakeholders involved in the security sector and the civilians.*GPB