Militants’ offices in Negros are NPA ‘underground houses’ – Army

Published November 7, 2019, 11:51 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — In the aftermath of the simultaneous raids last week in Negros Occidental, the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army still considers the offices of militant groups in Bacolod City as “underground houses” for communist rebels.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya (Glazyl Masculino/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya
(Glazyl Masculino/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Left-leaning Makabayan bloc claimed that the raided places in Bacolod City were “legal offices” of progressive groups.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, 3ID assistant commander and head of the Joint Task Force Negros (JTF Negros), said on Thursday that the Makabayan bloc only wants public sympathy both here and abroad.

“They’re quick to claim those are legal offices, but how come they’re not even registered in the host barangay? And why is that they don’t have barangay or office permits? Obviously they are hiding their true identities,” Vinoya said.

The 303rd Infantry Brigade (303 IB) also pointed out that the offices have no signage similar to other non-government organizations (NGOs) while its addresses cannot be found in directories or online searches.

“These places are closed most of the time. You won’t really think these are legal offices,” said Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303 IB commander.

Meanwhile, 31 out of the 42 people arrested were released Wednesday after the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office junked the complaints of illegal possession of firearms against them for lack of probable cause.

Of the 31, 21 are reportedly former bus workers. They were allegedly in the area to seek help from Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) when the raid was conducted.