By Nanette Guadalquiver

ARRESTED. New People’s Army rebel Rey Vincies “Art” De Leon is now in police custody for inquest proceedings following his arrest by the joint military and police troops in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Jan. 21, 2023. He has a warrant of arrest for frustrated murder issued by Presiding Judge Walter Zorilla of Regional Trial Court Branch 55. (Photo courtesy of 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army)

BACOLOD CITY – A Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel wanted for frustrated murder was arrested, another voluntarily surrendered to authorities in central Negros on separate occasions earlier this week, the military and the police confirmed on Tuesday.

In Himamaylan City, Rey Vincies “Art” De Leon, 30, is now in police custody for inquest proceedings after his arrest by the joint team of the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion and Himamaylan Component City Police Station on Jan. 21.

A resident of Sitio Cantupa, Barangay Buenavista, De Leon, an active member of the dismantled Central Negros 2’s Sentro De Grabidad Platoon, was involved in an ambush of police officers in the neighboring Binalbagan town a few years back.

Joint military and police troops served on De Leon the warrant of arrest for frustrated murder issued by Presiding Judge Walter Zorilla of Regional Trial Court Branch 55, dated Sept. 26, 2023.

Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, lauded the collaboration of the military and the police that resulted in the arrest of the suspect, showing that criminals, especially wanted CPP-NPA terrorists, cannot elude authorities.

“Our Philippine Army and Philippine National Police are intensifying their joint law enforcement operations to neutralize offenders, including remnants of the dismantled CN2, preventing them from regaining influence in Negros. These efforts are integral to our drive to declare Negros Island insurgency-free,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old female NPA member turned herself in to the local government and municipal police of La Castellana, Negros Occidental, on Tuesday.

The surrenderer, a resident of Barangay Linantuyan, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, was among those who encountered troops of the 62nd Infantry Battalion in the town’s Barangay Sag-ang on Jan. 17.

In an interview, Maj. Rhojn Darell Nigos, public information officer of Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office, said the woman, who is a political instructor of CN1, decided to surrender because of the continued presence of government troops in La Castellana.

“We’re trying to secure the person to gather more information on how she can be assisted, and she might have comrades who also want to surrender,” he added. (PNA)