NPA leader with P4.8-M bounty killed after resisting arrest in Iloilo

Published May 29, 2021, 2:50 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY – A high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) who had a P4.8-million bounty was killed after he allegedly resisted arrest in Pavia, Iloilo Friday.

Police Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) chief, confirmed that Reynaldo Bocala was one of the two people killed in a police operation at around 8:20 p.m. May 28.

Bocala and his aide Willy Epago opened fire when combined operatives of the PRO-6 (Western Visayas) Regional Intelligence Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-Region 6), Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) tried to serve the warrant of arrest, prompting the law enforcers to fire back and killed Bocala and his aide.

Bocala was the husband of Ma. Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala, who used to be the highest ranking NPA leader in Panay Island prior to her arrest in August 2015. Mrs. Bocala is also the Visayas-based consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF) which had been negotiating peace with the government.

Before his death, Mr. Bocala had several positions in the NPA in Panay Island. He was the former deputy secretary of the NPA Southern Front Committee, chief of the NPA regional operational department, and finance officer.

“His death will impede their operations because he is the one managing the finances in Panay,” Miranda said.

Bocala was one of the country’s most wanted persons with several warrants for various criminal cases in Panay Island. His cases include murder; destructive arson; robbery in band with frustrated homicide; and robbery with serious physical injuries.

Based on reports from the PRO-6 Regional Intelligence Division, Bocala was very elusive and took more than three years for various intelligence units to track him down and monitor him.