By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOrPPO) said the Glock 9mm pistol they recovered from one of the suspected leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) who were arrested earlier this week was the service firearm of slain Police Lt. Colonel Arnel Arpon.
Arpon, a resident of Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental, was among the five cops killed in July of 2017 when their convoy was ambushed by NPA rebels in Sitio Mandi-e in Guihulngan City’s Barangay Magsaysay.
NOrPPO said the Glock 9mm pistol was recovered from Adidas Acero on September 20, when joint operatives from NOrPPO, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office and the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade served an arrest warrant for charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Aside from Acero also known as alias “Baldo BJ,” a suspected high-ranking NPA leader who is allegedly the vice commander of the Front Operational Command, Nona Espinosa, alias “Ava/Jelay,” deputy front secretary of Central Negros 1 Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor, was also arrested in Barangay Buenavista, Guihulngan City during joint military and police operations last Sunday.
Other individuals arrested were Lea Canja Niles, Xian Flores Batiken, Rodrigo Himino Benlot, Felix Baquilta Policher, Analyn Matusada Flores, Crispin T. Diano, and Juravilla Eno Baloy.
303IB commander, Army Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, said three years after the massacre of Arpon and his men, they have given him justice.
Pasaporte said Acero and Espinosa must answer for the heinous incident.
“As a proverb goes, ‘The long arm of the law is bound to catch you’ and justice will be served to the victims. They should pay for all their evil acts especially in claiming the lives of a dedicated police officer and his men while serving their duty in securing the peace and safety of Guihulngan City,” Pasaporte added./DGB, WDJ