NPA releases four captive troops

June 15, 2010 8:15 pm 

MANILA, June 15 – Communist New People’s Army rebels on Tuesday afternoon released the four government troops they kidnapped last March 12 in Mawab town in Compostela Valley.

The Army’s 10th Infantry Division welcomed the newly acquired freedom of four government troops from the hands of kidnappers at around 3:30 p.m. at Sitio Linao, Barangay Sta. Teresa, Maco, Compostela Valley province as the AFP unceasingly works for the well-being and safety of every individual who has been put in harm’s way by criminals.

The four – Corporals Marcial Bawagan, Ariel Asumo, and Eduardo Alcala and government militiaman Victor Pitogo – were snatched by the rebels while attending the birthday party of Bawagan’s son.

Capt. Emmanuel Garcia, 10th Infantry Division spokesman, said as a matter of procedure, the victims would be taken to the hospital for appropriate medical examinations and afterwards undergo custodial debriefing to find out the circumstances of the kidnapping.

Their families will also undertake psychological and emotional counselling to assess the extent of trauma caused by the kidnappers’ criminal acts.

Garcia said the 10th ID leadership took cognizance of the valuable efforts of various sectors, particularly the Parish of Mawab and other religious leaders, the teachers from the Department of Education, the civilian community and many others who have given their support to the families of the victims and condemned the inhuman acts of the communists.

“Like the many cases of kidnappings perpetrated by NPA terrorists against so many people in the past, the freedom of the victims from their kidnappers was a product of many circumstances where the rescue efforts played a vital part in putting pressure on these criminal elements to bow yet for the sake of saving their own skin and taking a breather from the relentless rescue operations conducted by the true soldiers of the people. The rescue efforts resulted in the recovery of three rifles, seven Improvised Explosive Devices and the death of one NPA kidnapper,” said Garcia.

"The pressure from two fronts brought by the adverse reaction of civil society groups against their inhuman action and the incessant rescue efforts of the true people’s army cut their untenable position in putting innocent lives in danger and subjecting the victims’ families in deep emotional anguish. Their claim of humanitarian consideration in releasing the victims is far-fetched from the truth as they were the ones who put their victims in deep peril disregarding the circumstances when they feloniously and maliciously kidnapped the victims while attending a child’s birthday party. The honorable fight is on the battlefield and not on a children’s party,” said Garcia.

“The victims’ release proves the undeniable culpability of the NPA and its puppet master, the CPP, in concocting crimes against innocent people. It also outlines the NPA’s sheer violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and pertinent laws of the land,” said Garcia.

“As we vow to make these criminals face the bar of justice, we take pride in the unparalleled heroism of our troops who risked their lives in order to rescue beleaguered comrades. Our warmest salute to every soldier who contributed in the rescue efforts and bringing pressure to kidnappers,” said Garcia.

In the spirit of genuine brotherhood, Garcia said the military condole with the families of the NPA, who was killed in the process of rescuing the victims and who has been deceived into a lost cause by a godless organization.

"Our respect goes to him and his family. May the wounds on both sides of the fence heal as we focus on peace and reconciliation as one nation, united in one flag in caring for our family and belief in one God.

“We maintain our stand based on our laws and internationally accepted principles in dealing with criminal elements and in exacting much needed justice for the mass number of people who were victimized by these kidnappers,” he said.

“Along this line; the true people’s army will stand united with our citizens in serving the nation and protecting our countrymen from criminal elements like the CPP-NPA-NDF,” said Garcia.(PNA) RMA/VR

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