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Nanta release minor setback

The release of alleged New People’s Army regional commander Romeo Nanta may be a little setback, but, the military leadership in Negros Occidental is looking into its positive side.

Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said the almost four months of incarceration of Nanta has probably provided time for him to reflect on the futility of the armed struggle, and of rejoining his family, instead of returning to the mountains.

Nanta, alias Ka Juaning, was freed from jail Tuesday after posting bail of P100,000 for robbery-in-band, and P14,800 for an arson case.

Lactao said Nanta availed of the services of government institutions that they have been hitting and trying to destroy.

“It may also serve as an awakening for him that they could work for our current institutions and process”, he added, referring to the detention of the alleged rebel leader.

With this development, Lactao said, Nanta may have a change of mind.

Survivors and families of victims of ambushes in Brgy. Salamanca, Toboso, allegedly perpetrated by the NPA, have expressed concern over the release of Nanta, after filing charges against him for multiple murder and frustrated murder.


The ambush of civilians on board a government vehicle in July 13, 2009, claimed the lives of Edmar Sultan, 14, a student of the Toboso National High School, Rodolfo Salipod, 56, driver, and Ena Pata, 50, police records show.

Eryl Baynosa, 42, one of the survivors and son of Eriberto Baynosa, former barangay captain of Salamanca in Toboso, who was reportedly marked for liquidation by the NPA, pointed to Nanta as the leader of the armed men who led an ambush.

Lactao, who admitted that Nanta’s release was a small setback in their legal offensive campaign against NPA personalities in Negros Occidental, stressed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Police have done their job in arresting him. Nanta was described as a notorious criminal in the province, with numerous cases lodged against him.

“The court has granted his motion for bail, so we have to respect and follow the court order,” he said.


Several top NPA leaders arrested in Negros Occidental, in previous years, including Marilyn Badayos, secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Sentral Bisayas; Mary Grace Delicano, secretary of the South West Front Committee; Rogelio Danoso, secretary of the Northern Negros Front Committee; Nilda Natan Bertulano, secretary of the Central Negros Front Committee, rejoined their comrades in the mountains, after their release from jail, military records show.

Lactao underscored the need create a special law, to be applied to arrested members of the organized crime groups, including the CPP-NPA.

He noted that the laws applied to organized crime groups are for common criminals. “Maybe it is time our legislators look into our legal tools,” Lactao said.


Nanta was intercepted and apprehended in November 7 last year in Cadiz City, on arrest warrants for crimes of rebellion, robbery-in-band, and attempted and frustrated murder.

He was also linked to the raid and disarming of the 1st Provincial Mobile Group detachment at Barangay Malasibog, Escalante on March 19, 2006; harassment of the Villegas Detachment at Barangay Villegas, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental on April 2006; arson at the Victorias Milling Company and Central Lopez transloading station at Barangay San Jose, Toboso on March 2008; and the burning of the Globe Telecom cell site in Purok Mabuhay, Barangay Poblacion, Toboso, Negros Occidental.

Police Supt. David Cachumbo, who represented Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, provincial police director, in a press briefing at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City, said the bail of Nanta may be revoked and an arrest warrant issued against him, if he ignores the subpoena to be sent to him, and fails to attend his court hearing.
The Visayan Daily Star
Thursday, February 23, 2012


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