'Morong 43' member tagged in bus burning

by Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Luzon

Posted at Feb 21 2014 05:05 AM | Updated as of Feb 21 2014 03:28 PM

BATANGAS – Criminal charges have been filed against a woman tagged as one of the "Morong 43" and 19 others at the Batangas provincial prosecutor's office on Thursday for burning 8 buses in Lemery town early Sunday morning.

Senior Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel, Batangas police director, said cases of arson and robbery were filed against a certain Janice Javier, who is also an alleged member of the New People's Army (NPA), and 19 others including one male suspect who was described by the witnesses through a composite image.

Fidel said Javier was positively identified by witnesses in the "rogues gallery" shown by the Lemery police.

“Nasa rogues gallery namin si Javier kasi isa sya sa 'Morong 43' na naaresto noon sa Rizal," said Supt. Isagani Fetizanan, police deputy provincial director for operations.

The "Morong 43" is a group of health workers accused of cooperating with communist NPA. They were arrested in Morong, Rizal for possession of firearms and explosives in 2010.

Several members of the "Morong 43" were tagged by police as members of the NPA. They include one Ramon/Romeo Dela Cruz who died in an encounter with the Philippine Army in Barangay Kabayunan, Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan on August 9, 2013.

Batangas police also released two computerized facial images of suspected rebels tagged in the burning of buses at the Jam Liner, Inc. terminal in Barangay Palanas, Lemery town around 12:55 a.m.

“(Witnesses) clearly described the suspects because they were not wearing any facial masks when they hauled all the bus employees inside the covered area,” Fidel said

One of the suspects was described as a skinny man, around 5 feet 7 inches tall, bearded, and between 38 to 40 years old.

The other suspect was described as a woman between 30 to 40 years old, around 5 feet 3 inches tall, and medium built and was later identified by the witnesses as Javier.

Fidel said cases against the suspects were filed at the office of Provincial Prosecutor Maria Lourdes Zapanta in Batangas City.