19 NPA rebels face raps over 2020 attack vs. troops in Aurora

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

November 4, 2022, 2:15 pm

MANILA – Some 19 members and supporters of the Communist Party of Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) are facing charges in connection with an attack on government troops in the province of Aurora two years ago, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said on Friday.

In a statement, CIDG director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee said charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocides, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, have been filed by the CIDG Aurora Field Unit against the following CPP-NPA members: Harold Sarenas Menosa a.k.a. “Ka Luzon,” “Ka India,” or “Ka Bullet” - CO, KLG Sierra Madre; Andy Surbano Vigega a.k.a. “Ka Elis,” “Ka Olsen,” or “Ka Dodo” - Vice CO, KLG Sierra Madre; Lee Branacha Sudario a.k.a. “Aura” - Vice CO KLG Sierra Madre; Jennifer Bondoc David - Sec SPC; Marlene Espiritu a.k.a. “Marilyn Espiritu,” “Ka Tim,” “Loris,” or “Noemi” - Sec SPC; A certain @ “Bituin” or “Ren” - Political Officer; Rommel Bustamante Tuccay a.k.a. “Ben,” “Isaac,” “Abraham,” “Peter,” “Philip,” “David,” or “Samuel”; Mar Huera Juan; Bobby Riosa; Bing Dandan; Pepito Bautista; Susan Ritual; Ernesto Guerero Prinsipe; Nelson Pascua Geronimo; Agaton Topacio; A certain @ “Lay,” “Rowena,” “Lunti,” “Ashley,” or “Celine”; A certain @ “Lee”; A certain @ “Andy” or “Olga”; and Neptali Castro Santos.

The charges were filed before the Aurora Provincial Prosecutors Office in Baler town on Thursday.

The suspects were allegedly involved in the attack against soldiers on security patrol during the distribution of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) assistance by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on April 2020 in the town of Maria Aurora, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lee said this is an ongoing effort of the CIDG in compliance with the directive of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. to push through with the legal offensive efforts against radical groups and prevent them from causing threats and harm to the community.

CIDG investigators said prior to the incident, the Philippine Army's 91st Infantry Battalion received information about the presence of armed bandits, all allegedly members of the communist movement near their location whose plan is to attempt to steal the cash assistance for the beneficiaries of Barangay Dial.

The soldiers were fired upon by the rebels, inflicting fatal wounds on two troopers wherein one died on the spot while the other died in the hospital, and slightly wounding three others. (PNA)