The Oplan Branstark launched by the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 7, assisted by the 94th Infantry Battalion and Provincial Mobile Group, in pursuing the New People’s Army rebels behind the torture and summary execution of four intelligence operatives on July 18, led to the arrest of nine communist rebels, who were armed with firearms and explosives in Negros Oriental.
Brig.Gen. Debold Sinas, regional police director of Central Visayas, in his consolidated report on the outcome of Oplan Branstark, said that one of the nine arrested rebels had direct participation in the killing of the four RMFB 7 intelligence operatives, based on the testimony of an eyewitness to the incident, while three others served as a security force during the incident.
The arrest of the nine rebels suspects also yielded six .38 caliber revolvers with ammunition, a .45 caliber pistol, five rifle grenades, a homemade 12 gauge shotgun, a fragmentation grenade, two 40mm grenade launcher ammunition, two IEDs (improvised explosives devices) subversive documents, NPA uniforms, among other personal belongings.
Sinas said that Onie Bangala and Efepanio Cabusog Romano, who were nabbed by RMFB 7 troopers on July 26 and 29 in barangays Carol and Mabato, in Ayungon town, were both denied bail by the court, for violation of RA 10591.
Similar charges were also filed against Efepanio Cabusog Romano, Lito Cadusale and Rico Oracoy, who were also intercepted and arrested by the police on July 29 in also in Brgy. Mabato, Ayungon and Brgy.Nalundan, Bindoy, Negros Oriental, respectively.
NPA suspects Edmer Acibo and Jojo Ogatis was also in jail, after they were apprehended by the RMFB 7 striking force and 94IB in Sitios Sook and Yamot, also in Brgy. Mabato, Ayungon on Aug.3.
Sinas said in a report that Ogatis was pinpointed by an eye witness to be among the suspects, who shot the four police intelligence operatives on July 18.
He added that an amendment to the multiple murder complaints filed against those directly involved in the summary execution of the four policemen on July 18, is scheduled to be filed also by the police, that will include Ogatis.
Three other armed rebels identified as Danny Harold Tancinco, Ronnie Herebias and Marlon Basalo were intercepted arrested on July 31 at Lambog Beach in Badian town, Cebu, while fleeing from Negros Oriental, form part of the security force of rebels that killed the four policemen, Sinas also said.
One of them claimed that they had no participation in the killing of the four police intelligence operatives, he added. But they admitted having operated in the hinterlands of Ayungon, Bindoy and Manjuyod, and had fled to Cebu, to avoid the ongoing operations of the military and police in those areas.*
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