SIBULAN, Negros Oriental- Two alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Negros Oriental fell one after the other yesterday, August 3, 2019. Jojo Torres Ogatis, 20, was collared at around 12:00 noon after his wedding in Sitio Sooc, Barangay Mabato, Ayungon.

Ogatis was the subject of a “follow up operation” according to Police Regional Office (PRO 7) Regional Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas after a witness tagged him as one of those who were involved in the killing of the four Regional Mobile Force Batallion (RMFB7) policemen last July 18.

“A witness identified him as among those involved in the killing of our policemen,” Sinas said in a press conference in Camp Francisco Fernandez in Sibulan town. The witness, a farmer, claimed, he saw Ogatis as among those who ganged up on the four cops before shooting them to death in Sitio Yamot, Barangay Mabato.

He said he identified Ogatis as the suspected NPA rebel is his neighbor. “I saw them grappling with the police. I know them because they are my neighbors,” the witness whose name is being withheld said in Cebuano. According to him, Ogatis is with his brother along with four others that he knew, the Ebedo’s and the house owner a certain “Otto” Anadon.

He said there were five others who were wearing black pants and black long sleeves shirts. Col. Henry Grijaldo, the RMFB7 Batallion Commander said that the all-black attire are the uniforms of NPA fighters in Negros Island. “That is the color of their uniform, that means that they are really NPA’s,” Grijaldo told iNews.Ph.

Ogatis was still in his wedding attire, white long sleeves shirt a, d black pants when brought by his captors from the RMFB Striking Force, 704th Maneuver Co. (PMFC-RMFB7) and the 94th IB, PA. Earlier, Edmar Amaro, 34, from Barangay Mabato was also caught by by the composite patrolling team Mabato denied being a member of the NPA’s claiming he works as a “mason” that is constructing a high-end condominium project in Mandaue City.

He was on his way home for the weekend when the policemen suddenly rounded him off. “I am not an NPA, I work for a condominium project in Mandaue,” he said in Cebuano He claimed that the evidence against him were planted. Amaro was caught having rifle grenade, .38 caliber revolver with ammos, a back pack containing his alleged NPA black uniform printed with PKP 50 (Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas), poncho, a pair of combat shoes, some ID’s, among others.

The capture of Ogatis and Amaro came as three alleged NPA’s were also arrested in Badian, Southern Cebu last Wednesday. The alleged rebels were collared after they disembarked from a pumpboat in a beach area in Barangay Lambug. All three; Danny Harold Tancinco, Ronnie Herebias and Marlon Basalo allegedly admitted that they were NPA’s and fled Ayungon to avoid the government troops that are operating in the area.

Charges of illegal possesion of firearms were already filed against them. /AAJ