Ending Insurgency

Top NPA commander committed to jail, now faces charges for his notorious, heinous crimes

Rowil Muñasque, the former Commander of NPA’s Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU) under Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC), is now committed to Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Jail to face charges for his notorious crimes and atrocities.

Jotham, as he is called by his former comrades, was committed to jail on November 20, 2020 thru the commitment order issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 18 in Pagadian City.

Going back in the year 1997, as a student of ICC – La Salle University in Ozamis City, Jotham started off as a member of Kabataang Makabayan. He then became a full-time member of NPA terrorists’ White Area Committee based in Ozamis City and was assigned in District 1 of Misamis Occidental Province.

Later on, Jotham was tasked to be the organizer of Youth and Farmers in Marawi City, Iligan City, and Zamboanga City until 2003.

The MRGU, under the command of Jotham, violently harassed Tiguha and Dumalian Patrol Bases in 2005; conducted tactical offensives against CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) Operatives in Barangay Palinta, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay Province in 2007; and violently disarmed the policemen in Tigbao Police Station in 2012.

Now, Jotham faces charges for 14 of his notorious crimes —3 of which are Murder, 2 Attempted Murders, 1 charge of Multiple Frustrated Homicide, 2 charges of Rebellion, 1 Arson, 1 Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention, and violation of Anti-Trafficking in Persons.

He also faces charges for violations of Republic Act 7610 also known as “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.” and Republic Act 11188 also known as the “Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Act” because of MRGU’s continuous recruitment and employment of children in their ranks.

These numbers are expected to rise as more cases are being filed against alias Jotham.

It can be remembered that he [Jotham] was apprehended in Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center through a joint law enforcement support operations against Communist-NPA terrorists by Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office and Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB).

He was undergoing medical care at the time, after being wounded as a result of hot pursuit operations against members of the MRGU on September 21, 2020 in Barangay Marangan, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.

This September 21 encounter between the Army’s 53rd IB also resulted to the death of his former comrade.

Recently, the Quezon City RTC convicted the Tiamzon Couple — two top leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorists— to up to 40 years behind bars for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of military personnel who were on leave in 1988.

53rd IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said that notorious NPA commanders like Jotham should face the full force of law for their heinous crimes.

“The NPA terrorists along with its commanders and members face the full force of law for killing innocent civilians, soldiers and policemen, and for committing atrocities targeting vulnerable communities,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.

“Have the justice system run its course —to deliver justice for all, by convicting and punishing the guilty. Let us give him the benefit of due process,” the 53rd IB Commander added.

Though apprehended, Muñasque continued to receive medical care in ZamboSur Medical Center and Army’s 1st Infantry Division Hospital in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

There now remains 8 remnants of the MRGU as continued Army operations result to the continuous surrender of its members.

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