6 killed, 13 arrested, 21 neutralized

IN GUIHULNGAN: This was the scene of the busy operation SEMPO which was launched by the government the day following the 50th Anniversary of the CPP marked nationwide. (Photos sent via social media by PNP)

A massive joint local and regional po-lice crackdown by 600 personnel against illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in Guihulngan’s urban and rural areas yielded six persons killed, 13 arrested, 21 neutralized and two who slipped the police dragnet early Thursday  even as the police operation continues until press time.

This police operation called “Simultaneous Enhanced Managing Operations” (SEMPO)  followed the much-publicized 50th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines marked Dec 26  nationwide in sporadic areas of the country including Negros island.

The PNP regional commander said a total of 113 search warrants were supposed to be served throughout Negros Oriental, 82 of which are in Guihulngan City, all for alleged  violation of Sec 28 of RA 10591 or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, including   8 SWs in Mabinay, 3 SWs in La Libertad, to include SWs for illegal drugs in Dumaguete, Sta. Catalina.

As of press time last Thursday midnight, some 50 search warrants out of the 82 have yet to be served, indicating that the operation SEMPO  is still on going up until all the search warrants are served.

This also came in the wake of President Duterte’s  promise to lick the half a century rebel movement nationwide. However, law enforcers made sure that their operation is legal and backed up with the proper court orders , and not a sweeping warrantless operation.

Recently, this communist movement was disowned by the Russian Republic thru its ambassador Ivan Khovaev who already came to Dumaguete twice in five months, said he has not yet understood what kind of communism is espoused by Filipinos. He also denied any Russian help in the communist movement here.

Six individuals who allegedly shoot it out with police during the service of search warrants in different barangays all over the province, were killed along with the neutralization of 13 others while 2 are at large.

As of 2:02 Thursday  afternoon, 5 were confirmed dead in Guihulngan and 1 from Sta. Catalina. According to PRO-7 regional director PCSupt Debold Sinas, all of the fatalities had  allegedly  shoot it out with the police during the implementation of the Simultaneous Enhanced Managing Operations (SEMPO) initiated by the Police Regional Office 7 headed by PCSupt Sinas.

600 TROOPERS

A total of 1,600 uniformed personnel through the region, 600 of whom are army troopers assigned in the area were deployed during the conduct of SEMPO.

General Sinas identified the fatalities as Reneboy Fat, resident of Hilaitan, his father Demetrio of Barangay Trinidad, Jesus Isugan resident of barangay Buenavista, Jun Cobol of barangay Trinidad and Jimmy Revilla of barangay Maniak.

In Barangay Tacpao, the village chief Erlinda Abraham allegedly yielded a cal. 38 revolver while her chief tanod Roger Salmeron also yielded the same. However, both of them vehemently denied they own the recovered items. Salmeron claimed early dawn today they were awakened by uniformed personnel believed to be policemen and ordered to vacate their house and then the search.

On the other hand, another barangay chairman, Melbourne Bustamante of Trinidad voluntarily surrendered upon knowing his house was search and yielded an unlicensed firearm. Bustamante is president of the liga ng mga barangays and is sitting as ex officio member of the sanggunian in Guihulngan city.

In Buenavista, couple Dominador and Lilia Isugan were also brought to the police station for having in their possession a marble gun, ax, cane cutter, and a bolo. They only learned later that one of the dead is their son Jesus. Another booked for illegal possession of firearms is Sheldon Uy who is a member of a gun club.

Allegedly recovered from Mr Uy are a Cal. 45 pistol and a Super 38 with magazines and ammunition, and an airsoft In an interview, he said the two handguns are licensed being used by him during shootfests. He confirmed he has a third firearm whom he sold to another persion in 2013 yet.

As of 2:02 Thursday  afternoon, 6 were killed, 13 arrested, 2 are at large or a total of 21 being neutralized as operation SEMPO continues. —