By Ben Serrano
Communist guerrillas freed a gold mine operator it held captive for two days in Bislig City on Monday afternoon.
Ka Sandara Amihan, spokesperson for New People’s Army’s Front Committee 14, said they handed over Agusan del Sur miner Carzon Ceasar “Abud” Lademora, 44, to the local crisis management committee headed by Rosario Mayor Jose “Pukloy” Cuyos in Sitio Mimtoyong, Kilometer 41, Bislig City.
“Our colleagues in Front 14 released Abud Lademora after leaders and members of that Front investigated him and questioned him for almost two days while comrades asked him to abandon some abusive practices by their group including not to armed themselves again”, Amihan told Caraga News Courier by phone.
“We at the armed struggle movement always believed in due process and give ample time for any person or group to repent and renew, so our colleagues at Front Committee 14 give that opportunity to Lademora and if he failed the group, the NPA will never hesitate to arrest him again,” Amihan added.
Amihan also debunked persistent reports the revolutionary movement’s demanded ransom money in exchange for Lademora’s freedom.
On Saturday, heavily armed guerillas swooped down on the mine site owned by the Lademora family and seized Abud and his aide Leonardo Cacao in Barangay Sinug-ang, Rosario, Agusan del Sur.
The “revolutionary arrest” of Lademora was a punitive action against what the rebels called “long record of abuse, crime, destruction of people’s livelihood and exploitation of small miners committed by the Lademora family.”
Lademora is the son of the late Philippine Constabulary colonel Carlos Lademora, the leader of the dreaded Lost Command, a private armed group based in the province which the NPA accused of massive human rights violations and abuses.
Amihan said she hoped the “arrest” of Lademora , who she alleges heads Lost Command would served as warning to all abusive armed groups and individuals in the Caraga .
“Our, the NPA rebels’ blood boils and plummets high hearing complaints of abusive individuals, armed groups or groups who mauled, abuse, exploit helpless civilians and poor people. The NPAs will never hesitate to try these abusive people to the people’s court kung sobra na, ” she warned.
The rebel group, she added has complete lists of these abusive, exploitative groups or individuals in the region.
For his part, Rosario town Councilor Belarmino Balagot, a member of the Rosario crisis committee, said no ransom money was paid for the release of Lademora.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro earlier condemned the kidnapping of Lademora as nothing but a desperate effort to raise ransom money because the rebel group was already losing the support of the community.