Rebel wanted for athlete’s slay nabbed in Masbate

By Connie Calipay


A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel tagged as one of the suspects in a roadside explosion last year that killed two persons, including a Far Eastern University (FEU) varsity football player, was arrested by police and military operatives in Masbate on Monday, April 18.


Maj. Malu Calubaquib, Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO-5) spokesperson, identified the suspect as Rolly Hermina of Masbate City.


She said, Hermina is a member of Larangan 1, Komite ng Probinsya 4 under the command of Eddie Rosero alias “Ka Star” operating in the second district of Masbate.


Hermina was nabbed in a manhunt operation on April 18 based on an arrest warrant issued by a regional trial court in Masbate City on Aug. 6, 2021, Calubaquib said.


FEU athlete Keith Absalon, 21, was cycling with a group that included his 40-year-old relative, Nolven, when an anti-personnel mine exploded by the roadside in Masbate City on June 6, 2021.


Meanwhile, Hermina is also wanted for the killing of a certain Samuel Verano, civilian, in 2019.


“Based on the warrant of arrest issued last August 6, 2020, Hermina was charged with two counts of murder with no bail. Two cases were filed for Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other crimes against humanity under Republic Act 9851 with P200,000.00 bail, and Attempted Murder with P120,000.00 bail,” Calubaquib said, referring to the Verano slay case.


Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, PRO-5 director, acknowledged the efforts of the operatives that led to the arrest of the suspect.


“Ang ating mga kapulisan, katuwang ang iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno ay hindi tumitigil upang makamit ang hustisya sa mga biktima. Ito rin ay sa paglalayong iwasan at protektahan ang bawat Bicolano mula sa karahasan at panggigipit na maaaring gawin ng mga rebeldeng grupo,” Estomo said in a statement. (PNA)