Manhunt intensified for abductors of 2 soldiers, 12 CAFGU members in Agusan Del Sur
Marje Pelayo • December 28, 2018 • 3088
A Communist Party of the Philippines Flag | Photo courtesy of PRWC_INFO
AGUSAN DEL SUR, Philippines – It has been more than a week and the New People’s Army (NPA) still holds captive of government troopers abducted on December 19.
Two Army soldiers and 12 members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were taken hostage by the communist rebels while they were on duty in a patrol base in Barangay New Tubigon in the municipality of Sibagat in Agusan Del Sur.
The soldiers, Corporal Erick Manangan and Private First Class Darlino Carino Jr., were part of the Philippine Army 3rd Special Forces manning the area.
Along with the hostages, the rebels took several military equipment as well as firearms from the base.
According to 401st IB Spokesperson Maj. Rudolfo Cordero, they are beefing up their manhunt operations to trace the hideout of the abductors after the deadline for the release of the hostages lapsed on December 25.
“Hinintay natin ang sinasabi nila na ire-release daw nila bago mag-pasko pero hanggang ngayon hindi pa nila nire-release. So meron namang crises management committee ang Sibagat Municipal government na siya na ring tumutulong makipag-usap sakaling magkaroon ng negotiation,” Cordero said.
The Philippine Army believes that abduction of government troopers are part of the NPA’s plan to compel the AFP to stop its offensives against them and a way to celebrate the communist group’s 50th founding anniversary.
Meanwhile, the AFP has created a board of inquiry which now investigates the incident for possible breach of military protocol on the part of the soldiers.
“Na-strengthen na natin ang patrol base na iyon. Actually malalakas naman ang patrol bases natin kaya nga kailangan naming maimbestigahang mabuti kung bakit nangyari (iyon),” Cordero noted.
Following the incident, the AFP appeals to the rebel abductors not to harm the captives and respect the human rights.
The military, meanwhile, assures the families of the victims that the government is doing the best it can for the safe releases of the hostages. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Raymond Octubre)
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Rebel combatant alias ‘Kent’ was lost for words over his experience in the hands of his “enemies” – the soldiers of the 29th Infantry Battalion – after an encounter in San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.
‘Kent’ sustained three gunshot wounds during the crossfire on November 2.
The soldiers captured him as he could no longer walk due to his injury.
He thought that was the end for him.
“Naka-set na sa isip ko na papatayin ako talaga kasi susuko (I set my mind that I would be killed if I surrender),” he said in his local dialect.
“Ang sabi nila kapag may giyera, papatayin ka kapag nahuli ka ng Army (They say in war, you will be killed if the Army captures you),” he added.
But to his surprise, the soldiers brought him to a nearby hospital and while gasping for air, he heard the soldiers telling him to hold on and try to survive.
The young NPA fighter is now recovering from his wound while the military is working on the possible assistance he may receive once he officially decommissions from the rebel group.
“Ang una nating ginagawa ngayon ay maka recover muna siya (What we are focusing on first is his recovery),” said Maj. Francisco Garelllo, the spokesperson of the 402 Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army who handles the case of alias Kent.
‘Kent’ was recruited to the New People’s Army (NPA) when he was only 16 years old.
He realized he spent his two years fighting for the wrong side.
He said he has decided to return to the government and start a new life with his family.
“Sinasabi naman nila sa akin na, ‘Dapat mabuhay ka kasi sisikapin naming mabuhay ka,’” Kent said of the soldiers who rescued him.
“Kaya pinilit ko ring maka-survive,” he concluded. – MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)
“It appears that Advincula has been using different names to hide his real identity such as R.B. Santos, John Paul Rafael Benedict Santos, Arcangel de Leon or Archie Santos, Lory Camba, and Jaime Gaupo, Jr.” the statement reads.
San Luis, Agusan del Sur Councilor Franklin Mandumotan was wounded while his wife, child and friends were killed in an ambush in Barangay San Pedro, Agusan del Sur on Saturday (April 6).
Philippine National Police (PNP) San Luis Chief Pcapt. Emerson Bajao said Mandumotan, his family and two of his friends were aboard an SUV and were on their way to a municipal activity when armed men rained bullets on said vehicle.
“Nagawa pa niyang mga around 150 meters pagpapatakbo para maiwas iyong mga nasa loob. More or less 36 basyo ng bala ng M16 ang nakuha sa area at mayroon pang bala ng mga carbine na na-iwan din sa area, (He was able to run the vehicle up to 150 meters to save the people inside. More or less 36 bullet shells of M16 were recovered from the area, there were also carbine ammunition left in the area),” Bajao said.
Mandumotan’s wife was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital while one of his friends, Maricel Quezon, died on the spot after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds.
Mandumotan sustained a gunshot wound on the arm. His son, Charles, and his other friend, Norie Coguit also sustained wounds and were taken to the hospital.
Bajao has confirmed they are investigating four persons of interest who may be responsible for the ambush.
Authorities are also investigating the motive for the assassination because the councilor has no record of any involvement in illegal drugs.
Bajao also insists it is not election-related.
“Hindi man siya tumatakbo, hindi election-related tapos wala ring mga armed group dito. Iyon nga tinitibay pa natin kung matumbok ba natin kung sila ba ang gumagawa, iyong mga NPA kasi hindi nila inaamin, (He is not running [in the election], it is not election-related. Also, there are no armed groups here. We are still investigating if the NPA is responsible because they are not claiming responsibility as of now)” Bajao said.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office 13 Director Brig. Gen. Gilberto DC Cruz gave his troops one week to apprehend those responsible for the ambush.—Aileen Cerrudo(with reports from Raymond Octobre)
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