By Mira Nicole Magbauna and Julius Mariveles
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The plot over the supposed abduction of the island’s top Communist and several other people appears to have gotten thicker after a ranking police officer in the province said they seem to have nothing to start with in looking into the case as the police chief of Hinigaran town said initial reports of an “abduction” turned out to be a “false report.”
“It looks like a diversion,” Captain Judesses Catalogo, spokesman of the National Police Provincial Office, told DNX amid claims that Denald Mialen, 18; and Ren Ren Delos Santos, 21 were abducted on 19 April 2023.
Both are drivers of habal habal, a mode of public transport in hinterlands here using single motorcycles.
This was the same claim made on a website of the Communist Party published on 21 April 2023, a day after the death of Rogelio Posadas, who the military said is the top Communist leader in Negros island heading the unified regional committee for the islands of Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor.
Posadas was found dead on 20 April 2023 in the upland community of Cabite in Binalbagan town after he and his group were chased by soldiers of the 94th Battalion from Cansalongon in Isabela town.
The Army said Posadas was supposed to lead an attack on a paramilitary outpost in that place.
What is strange, however, Catalogo said is while the CPP had been claiming there was an abduction, no actual complaint for such was made by the families of the two before police stations of towns related to their disappearance.
He said chiefs of police in the towns of La Castellana, Hinigaran, and Binalbagan all said they have not logged a complaint for abduction.
The girlfriend of Mialen, Jasmen Nicor, had earlier told DNX Mialen’s parents have filed a missing person report before the police stations of four towns – La Castellana, Binalbagan, Hinigaran, and Isabela.
The only claim from a “witness” that turned out to be false was in Hinigaran town where police reported a tip from a “concerned citizen” about an incident on 19 April 2023.
Town police chief, Major Clifford Batadhay, told DNX the tip off, it turned out, was “heard” by the source from a tricycle driver who claimed to have witnessed a white van blocking a motorcycle with three old-lookimg men riding it.
Batadhay added he had the information verified by his intelligence operatives.
They reported the information turned out to be false.