Captured rebels face charges

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Police have filed charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives against a top cadre and two members of the New People’s Army, who were captured by government troopers in an encounter on Sept. 14 in Brgy. Tabu, Ilog, Negros Occidental.

P/Lt. Abegael Donasco, deputy spokesperson of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, yesterday said that charges for violation of Republic Act 9516, or unlawful possession of explosives, and RA 10591, or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition, were filed against Ronel Bordago and Joebel Mabayag, while a case for violation of RA 9516 was also filed against Nilda Bertulano, secretary of the NPA South West Front.

Bertulano was injured in the gunbattle.

Donasco said that RA 9516 is a non-bailable offense, which means that the accused cannot avail of temporary liberty by posting bail.

The gunbattle between government forces and about 20 NPA members also claimed the lives of four rebels, including Christian Vargas, who was tagged by the military and police as the commander of the NPA in southern Negros.

Recovered at the encounter site were four M16, M14 and AK47 assault rifles, two fragmentation grenades, two 40mm explosives, assorted magazines containing ammunition, a cellular phone, a hand-held radio, and combat packs with personal belongings. –GB