From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 17): ‘Freed NPA commander led battle’
An arrested New People’s Army commander, who had been released from jail in July last year, after posting a P40,000 bail for robbery-in-band charges, was the leader of the group of rebels who figured in a recent encounter with Army soldiers at the boundary of Toboso and Sagay City, Negros Occidental, Lt. Col. Efren Morados, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.
Hernando Llorente, alias Ka Ador, who was arrested in San Carlos City April last year, led about 17 armed rebels who encountered the 62nd IB troopers on Saturday, Morados said.
While Llorente was unhurt during the encounter, Morados said Joey, alias Boboy, and a brother of Llorente, was reported among the three rebels injured in the brief gunbattle.
Llorente was among several key personalities of the CPP-NPA arrested in Negros island who include Romeo Nanta, commander of the Regional Operational Command of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, Rogelio Danoso, secretary of the Northern Negros Front Committee; Nilda Natan Bertulano, secretary of the Central Negros Front Committee, Arturo Moleta, secretary of the Kilusang Larangan South West, who rejoined their comrades in the mountains, after their release from jail, military records show.
Morados said they are still pursuing the fleeing rebels headed by Llorente, in tandem with the 6th Special Action Battalion of the Philippine National Police and 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company.
Llorente was reported by the military to be a platoon leader the Sentro De Grabidad of the NPA Northern Negros Front.
In a statement published in their website, it says that the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is, “deeply disturbed by the reported resumption of violence that occurred in the city of Zamboanga and other places in Mindanao in Southern Philippines.”
Ihsanoglu condemned the loss of innocent lives and called for “calm and maximum restraint to avoid further bloodshed and to allow peaceful resolution to the incidents.”
“The OIC strongly rejects all unlawful acts and expresses its deep concern at the shortcomings that occurred in the peace process which led to the resumption of violence and unlawful acts,” the statement said.
“The OIC calls for the resumption of the Tripartite Review Process as soon as possible in order to attend to the remaining unresolved issues that impedes the full implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) to pave the way for a just and durable peace in Mindanao.”
“The OIC warns against the untimely termination of this process as it will create a vacuum that is not conducive to building peace or enhancing security,” it continued.
The OIC pointed out that, it “stands ready to offer all possible assistance to ease the tension and resume the peace process.”
Government officials say at least 51 Moro rebels, six soldiers and policemen, and four civilians were already killed from of the weeklong clash. Government troops continue to contain and constrict the guerillas from their positions where at least 100 civilians are held as human shield.
Lawmakers and different groups have been calling both parties for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
OIC, the largest pan-Islamic body with 57-member countries, brokered the peace talks between the Philippine Government and MNLF in 1970s.
The peace talk concluded with the signing of GRP-MNLF Final Peace Agreement (FPA) in 1996 under the Ramos administration. MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari was the signatory in behalf of the Bangsamoro people.
However, after more than a decade of implementation, the MNLF laments that the government did not fully deliver all the provisions of the peace deal. A tripartite review is on-going since 2007, mediated by OIC through Indonesia which chairs the Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (PCSP).
The tripartite review which was set on September 16, 2013 was suspended following the request of Misuari to OIC-PCSP. The Office on the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Teresita Deles disclosed Indonesia has notified the Philippine Government.
Deles said, “The Department of Foreign Affairs has accordingly conveyed to the Indonesian Embassy that the Government will respect the decision of the OIC-PCSP Chair.”
The skirmish started when government troops stopped the MNLF forces who attempted to hoist their flag in front of the city hall for a peace rally. The MNLF claimed the soldiers fired first.
It was reported that Misuari declared Independence and formed Bangsamoro Republik last month. The MNLF held peace rallies in different parts of Mindanao following the declaration. MNLF flags were also hoisted in their camps.