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PIA Press Release

Gov't continues to win its battle over insurgency

by Maritess Beņas

Bangued, Abra (20 June) -- The government continues to win its battle over the insurgents with the arraignment last June 16 of arrested NPA top commander in the Cordillera, Jovencio Balweg and Maco Ginay, the suspect triggerman in the murder of Fr. Conrado Balweg, at the sala of Judge Corpuz Alzate of the Regional Trial Court Branch II here.

Jovencio Balweg, a.k.a. Rudy who is assisted by his defense lawyer, Atty. Rene Cortez pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against him.

However, Rebellion Case No. 2008-A-001 was also filed against him and the case was read also during the arraignment of the murder case. Prosecutor Marcel Ortega serves as the government prosecutor for the cases against Balweg.

Investigator said they will consolidate all the cases filed against Ka Rudy because there are so many cases that are not quite clear. The next trial is set on July 16, 2009 also at RTC Branch II here.

Balweg, who had a million pesos prize on the his head, was brought back to Camp Crame in Quezon City immediately after the arraignment while Ginay was brought back to the Abra Provincial Jail where he is detained.

It can be recalled that Fr. Conrado Balweg, a,k,a, Ambo was murdered in their ancestral home in Brgy. Bunao, Bangilo, Malibcong in Abra last December 1999.

Others from the NPA camp who are now in the custody of the government either through their voluntary surrender or arrest are Romeo Espejo of Poblacion, Lacub; Carmen Bidalen-Balweg a.k.a. Dumay, the wife of Jovencio Balweg and their son Jovencio Jr,; and Corpus Saboy a.k.a. Lander who is one of the officers of Kilusang Laragan Guerilla North east operating in the municipalities of Malibcong, Tineg, Lagangilang and San Juan. Ka Lander surrendered through negotiations made with Governor Eustaquio Bersamin.

Relative to these successive surrender of NPA members in Abra, the governor had expressed optimism that many more are coming down because they want to prove the sincerity of government to really help them from their plight, that is to be freed from their abject poverty. (PIA-Abra) [top]

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