Alleged New People’s Army regional commander Romeo Nanta is a free man, at least for now.
This was after San Carlos Regional Trial Court Judge Kathrine Go granted his motion for bail on robbery-in-band charges, and recommended P100,000 for his temporary liberty, Supt. Arnel Arpon, Cadiz police chief, said.
Arpon, who led a joint team of military and police personnel in arresting Nanta November last year in Cadiz City, said Nanta paid a cash bond of P100,000.
Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said it was a Regional Trial Court in Cadiz City, that issued an order for the release of Nanta, after he posted bail for robbery-in-band-charges.
Capt. Reylan Java, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, had earlier said that Nanta was also granted bail of P200,000 by Himamaylan RTC Judge Jose Aguirre and Judge Victor Magahud of the Ilog-Candoni Municipal Circuit Trial Court for the charges of rebellion, frustrated murder and attempted murder.
Java said the survivors and families of victims of ambushes perpetrated by the New People’s Army, have expressed concern over the release from jail of Nanta.
Eryl Baynosa, 42, one of the survivors and son of Eriberto Baynosa, former barangay captain of Salamanca in Toboso, Negros Occidental, pointed to Nanta as the leader of the armed men who led an ambush in July 13, 2009, he added.
The ambush claimed the lives of Edmar Sultan, 14, a student of the Toboso National High School, Rodolfo Salipod, 56, driver of the Salamanca barangay service vehicle, and Ena Pata, 50, police records show.
Guisihan, who admitted that the release of Nanta from jail was a setback to their legal offensives against leaders of the NPA in Negros Occidental, said they have no choice but to respect the court decisions.
Java said the families of the survivors who initiated the multiple murder and frustrated murder charges against Nanta are worried about his release, saying he may take revenge on them.
Several top NPA leaders arrested in Negros Occidental, including Marilyn Badayos, Mary Grace Delicano, Rogelio Danoso, Nilda Natan Bertulano, among others, have rejoined their comrades in the mountains, after their release from jail, military records also showed.
Guisihan said the element of a non-bailable offense was not included in the information in filing the robbery-in-band charges against Nanta, which may have prompted the court to grant him bail.
Military and police officials raised the possibility that Nanta may also rejoin his comrades in the mountains.
Nanta was intercepted and apprehended in November 7 last year in Cadiz City, by virtue for arrest warrants for the crimes of rebellion, robbery-in-band, attempted and frustrated murder.
He was also linked by the military to numerous violent incidents perpetrated by the NPA, which included burning of transloading stations of the Lopez Sugar Central and Victorias Milling Company in Toboso, and the raid of La Libertad Police Station in Negros Oriental, among others.
Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta, 3ID commanding general, said, “The decision to grant his (Nanta) request for bail lies with the court and we will always uphold the rule of law.”*GPB