Six government auxiliary men who were taken hostage by terrorist NPA’s who raided a military patrol base were freed after 75 days of captivity even as four NPA rebels and two army soldiers were killed in a renewed fighting preceding a raid by local insurgents at a construction site of a military detachment in Bukidnon.
The six Civilian Active Auxiliary were part of the 15 government troops (two soldiers and 13 CAAs) manning the Tubigon Patrol Base in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur who were kidnapped by the NPA rebels during a raid on December 1 last year.
Maj. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the NPA captors of the six CAAs were forced to release their captives in the midst of exhaustion and on the run from pursuing security forces in Caraga region.
Santos identified the freed CAAs as Jurian Gaviola, Marson Iligan, Bienvenido Lamion, Eddie Tindoy, Sanny Malobay, and Hermito Iligan.
The civilian volunteers were reportedly released at the vicinity of Barrage San Juan, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur at about 6:07 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.
Santos said the release was facilitated by a third party—the erstwhile hostages subsequently turned over to the 401st Brigade at Purok 12-A, Poblacion, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.
Santos said military units were continuously conducting operations to rescue the remaining troops who were still being held hostage and used as human shield and propaganda by the NPAs.
Meanwhile, four New People’s Army rebels and two army soldiers were killed during a clash preceding a raid by the terrorist group at a construction site of a patrol base at the outskirts of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon Thursday night.
Capt. Rhyan Delgado Layug of the 403rd Brigade said a platoon of soldiers was constructing a patrol base in Sitio Green Valley, Dalwagan, Malaybalay City when some 30 armed NPAs struck at them.
Layug reported that the team of army troopers was surprised and overwhelmed by the attacking NPA rebels resulting to the death of two soldiers.
However, the soldiers managed to retaliate against the rebels forcing them to scamper and flee, dragging with them their four dead comrades.
Layug said the NPA rebel band had admitted in a radio communication intercepted by the military that they indeed lost four men.
“After the fight, it was overheard over commercial handheld radio that the NPAs were talking they lost four of their cohorts,” Layug said.
He said the troops were doing community support activities upon the request of nearby residents for the construction of a patrol base to secure them from NPA terrorist extortion.
“We do not want the NPAs, they bring us more distress in our families here. We want a peaceful community for our families,” Layug said, quoting a local resident whose identity was withheld.
The terrorist left two M16 rifles, two unexploded anti-personnel mines still attached to a 200 meters electrical wire and ammunition magazine for M16.
Layug said that the anti-personnel mines left by the NPA could kill and mutilate bodies.
“The NPA’s continuing use of anti-personnel mines is a complete disregard of the Ottawa Conventions banning the use of anti-personnel mines because of its mutilating effect on the victims. The NPA terrorists are not different with the ISIS terrorists who also use Anti-Personnel Mines,” Layug said.
Lt’ Col. Sergio Macarandan, Commander of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, has ordered pursuit against the rebel band.