Rustico Tan, a former priest, had 14 standing arrest warrants issued against him by the Regional Trial Court Branch 47 in Tagbilaran City for multiple murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder before he was arrested in Santander, Cebu Thursday night.
If military sources are correct in tagging Tan as the vice commanding officer in Western Visayas for the New People’s Army (NPA), the arrest would have likely dealt a significant blow to guerrilla operations in the region.
But where is Tan?
In a report of Sunstar Cebu, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) spokesman Supt. Virgilio Bayon-on said that Tan was already transported to Bohol on Sunday.
The statement was relayed to Tan’s relatives who had been looking for the alleged rebel leader at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (Centcom) in Cebu but were then referred to the CPPO.
On Tuesday, dyRD Balita reached out to Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad to confirm Tan’s arrival in the province.
However, Natividad said that he had no knowledge on the transportation of the high-profile detainee to the province.
“Wala naman pong report sa amin about it po,” said Natividad in a text message.
The BPPO chief said that he will be verifying if Tan made it to the province.
Station dyRD tried to contact CPPO Provincial Intelligence Branch chief Supt. Joie Yape to get details on Tan’s whereabouts but he did not answer calls.
Tan’s family was also not able to get a hold of the police officer as he was reportedly not around when they went to the CPPO.
In the same report of Sunstar Cebu, Tan’s son, Nicolo expressed concern over his father’s health noting that the former priest is on medication for diabetes.
Earlier, Tan’s family also claimed that he was not connected in any way with the NPA but this was denied by the Centcom.
The Centcom told Cebu media that based on information they gathered, Tan remained to be an active member of the the rebel group. (A. Doydora)