Rebel charged with murder of ex-mayor nabbed after 33 years


ILOILO CITY — One of the suspects in the murder of former Culasi town mayor 33 years ago was arrested on Thursday, a police official said on Saturday.

Romeo Fernando, who went by aliases “Sunny” and “Rolly Fernando”, was nabbed in Batong Buhay, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro around noon, Col. Joem Malong, Police Regional Office in Western Visayas (PRO 6) spokesperson said in a phone interview.

“He is one of the suspects of the slay of former Culasi mayor Paterno Javier Sr. and now an active member of the Leonardo de Guzman Command based in Mindoro,” Malong said.

A press release from the police said Fernando is one of the seven suspects in the killing of the former Culasi mayor on June 4, 1986.

The operation against the suspect was done by the combined elements of the Regional Intelligence Unit 6 (Western Visayas), Regional Intelligence Unit 4B, Sablayan Municipal Police Station, Culasi Municipal Police Station, Antique Provincial Intelligence Section, and Mindoro Provincial Mobile Force Company.

The authorities have also coordinated with the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to apprehend Fernando.

Judge Niovady Marin of the Regional Trial Court 6th Judicial Region Branch 13, Culasi, Antique issued the arrest warrant dated Feb. 17, 1994 against Fernando for murder with no bail recommended.

Malong said the suspect also has a pending warrant of arrest for multiple murder.

“His warrant of arrest for multiple murder has clerical error. It needs to be amended that is why it has not been served,” she said.

Malong said the suspect is currently under custody of Culasi Muncipal Police Station.