Ailing soldier seized by NPA rebels—Army

Subscribe Now November 17, 2010 at 07:09am

Davao del Norte, Philippines — Suspected New People’s Army rebels on Tuesday seized an ailing soldier in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, a military official said.

Some 80 communist guerrillas led by an unknown commander snatched Corporal Daiem Hadjaie at a rebel blockade in the settlement of Mebatas, in Barangay Upper Ulip at around 7 a.m., Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Saret, commander of the army’s 25th Infantry Battalion, said. Hadjaie was on his way to a medical examination at the Camp Panacan Naval Hospital in Davao City some 125 kilometers away when the passenger motorcycle he was riding in was flagged by the rebels, Saret said.

“The soldier has been suffering from an ailment, he has been showing symptoms of hepatitis so he was allowed by his company commander to have a medical examination in Camp Panacan naval hospital (in Davao City). Unfortunately, the rebels were conducting a checkpoint along the road to the town proper and he was among those inspected,” Saret said, adding the combat boots and uniform he was supposed to wear at the camp were found, blowing his cover.

Saret said he was saddened the abduction happened the same day Muslims in the country were celebrating Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifices. Hadjaie is a Muslim.

“What worried us more was that he was supposed to meet his pregnant wife at the camp as she herself was also scheduled to have her medical examinations. She is due to deliver their child soon,” Saret said, adding they have started efforts to locate and rescue the soldier.

The military official said the abduction happened in the same area where NPA rebels were known to have set up blockades to "arrest" government troops and civilians.

Last May, rebels also seized several soldiers and a young militiaman at the same area. The captives were freed unharmed after over a month of pleas from family members and negotiations.


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