CADIZ CITY – The military reported yesterday the two arrested top leaders of the New People’s Army in Negros island, who were freed on bail, have rejoined their comrades in the revolutionary movement.
Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., 3rd Infantry Division commander, claimed that Karapatan-Negros facilitated the posting of bail for Romeo Nanta, regional commander of the NPA in Negros island, who was released from jail on Feb. 21.
Lt. Col. Efren Morados, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, reported that Karapatan also facilitated the posting of bail for arrested couple, Hernando Llorente, commander of the NPA Kilusang Larangan Northern Negros, and his wife, Faith Roseen Basergo, a political instructor, who were released on April 27.
Nanta is facing a string of criminal cases in court, including rebellion, robbery-in-band, robbery with homicide, two counts of arson, murder and attempted murder, in the death of three civilians in Brgy. Salamanca, Toboso, in 2009, and the raid of military and police outposts in Escalante and Toboso, among others, military records also show.
Llorente, alias “Ka Adoy”, and Basergo, alias “Ka Bea”, are facing robbery-in-band charges in court. They were released from jail after posting bail of P80,000.
The 62nd IB soldiers had participated in the arrest of Nanta in Cadiz City in Nov. 7 last year, and that of Llorente and Basergo in Calatrava on April 20.
Mabanta said Nanta and Marilyn Badayos alias “Eunice/Jonna”, secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Sentral Bisayas, who was arrested June 18, 2011, in Bacolod City, were monitored to have rejoined their comrades in the mountains.
Mabanta also said the release of Llorente and Basergo will also provide them the opportunity to reunite with the rebels.
He, however, stressed that the decision to grant the requests for bail of rebel leaders lies with the court. “We will always uphold the rule of law”, he said.
Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said more than P2 million has already been spent by the NPA and its supporters to bail out arrested comrades in Negros.
Roberto Espinosa, an alleged regional finance officer of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, was recently re-arrested by the police in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
Military records show that Espinosa is facing robbery with homicide, robbery-in-band and arson charges. He was denied bail.
Espinosa was initially arrested in 2009, with another rebel leader Rogelio Danoso, in Bacolod City. Both posted bail for illegal possession of firearms charges, and rejoined their group in northern Negros, the military said.*GPB