By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) commander, Major General Jon Aying, said an anonymous group is behind the P100,000 bounty being offered in exchange for slain or captured members of the New People’s Army (NPA) or the Islamic State-backed Maute terror group in Negros.
During a recent interview, the 3ID commander revealed the group may have as much as P20 million in order to fund multiple rewards, enough to cover the estimated 200 NPA members present on the island.
Aying said the reward also includes the apprehension of private armed groups or similar lawless and armed groups operating in Negros.
He noted, while the group affirmed they would be able to provide payment if all 200 rebels surrender, an evaluation of those captured must still be conducted before the reward is distributed.
“We have to be very sure those subjected to this information are really bonafide members of the NPA, especially hardened rebels,” Aying stated.
However, Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao believes the reward blurs the lines between armed rebels and political dissention, saying it could lead to human rights violations./WDJ