Survivors and families of victims of ambushes perpetrated by the New People’s Army have expressed concerns over attempts to release Romeo Nanta, alleged NPA regional commander, from jail, after local courts granted him bail of P200,000for cases of rebellion, frustrated murder and attempted murder filed against him, regional military spokesman Capt. Reylan Java said.
Eryl Baynosa, 42, one of the survivors and son of Eriberto Baynosa, former barangay captain of Salamanca in Toboso, Negros Occidental, pointed to Nanta as the leader of the armed men who led an ambush in July 13, 2009, Java said.
The ambush of civilians claimed the lives of Edmar Sultan, 14, a student of the Toboso National High School, Rodolfo Salipod, 56, driver of the Salamanca barangay service vehicle, and Ena Pata, 50, police records show.
Families of the survivors are worried about the possible release of Nanta, after initiating the filing of multiple murder and frustrated murder charges against him, Java said.
They believe Nanta and his group may take revenge on them, Java said.
Several top NPA leaders who were arrested in Negros Occidental, including Marilyn Badayos, Mary Grace Delicano, Rogelio Danoso, Nilda Natan Bertulano, among others, have rejoined their comrades in the mountains, after their release from jail, a military records show.
Java admitted that there have been efforts to liberate Nanta, 54, who is now detained at the Negros Occidental District Jail in Bago City, after his arrest in November 7 last year in Cadiz City, for rebellion, robbery-in-band, attempted and frustrated murder.
While he was denied bail by San Carlos Regional Trial Court Judge Moises Nifras for robbery-in-band charges, Nanta was granted bail of P200,000 by Himamaylan RTC Judge Jose Aguirre and Judge Victor Magahud of the Ilog-Candoni Municipal Circuit Trial Court for the charges of rebellion, frustrated murder and attempted murder, Java said.
Maj Gen Jose Mabanta, 3rd Infantry Division commander, however, said “ The decision to grant his (Nanta) request for bail lies with the court and we will always uphold the rule of law.” * GPB