NPA rejects Duterte call to release 5 soldiers

Subscribe Now June 22, 2013 at 08:00pm

The New People's Army (NPA) has rejected the call of Mayor Sara Duterte for the release of five soldiers who were snatched in Paquibato district here last Monday.

NPA-1st Pulang Bagani Command leader Lencio Pitao has confirmed that they seized the five soldiers belonging to the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion.

Pitao said the five soldiers – identified as Cpl. Emmanuel Quezon, Pfcs. Vernie Padilla, Ronald Gura and Donato Estandian, and Pvt Martesiano Pasigas – are in their custody as “prisoners of war.”

Duterte earlier had called on the NPA to free the five soldiers, saying holding them in captivity would not do the rebel movement any good.

But National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao spokesman Jorge Madlos turned down Duterte’s request, saying the soldiers would have to undergo a certain process before they are freed.

Should the NPA’s investigating team find no cause for the soldiers to remain in captivity, Madlos said they would then be released.

The soldiers were reportedly attending a feeding program for children in the Paquibato district when the rebels seized them.


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