Pursuit underway for abductors of 3 militiamen in Surigao del Sur

Army troops have stepped up its offensives in a bid to rescue three government militiamen held captive by communist rebels in the hinterlands of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. File photo

Government troops are conducting hot pursuit operations against the suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, who were behind the abduction of three government militiamen in San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur province.

Col. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commander of the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade, said massive search and rescue operations were hatched in the hinterland of San Miguel town and neighboring areas to get back the abducted members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA).

He identified the three as Jerrick Quillano, 40; Mama Abao, 24 and Aljhun Miñano,19, all of Barangay Bitaugan, San Miguel town and assigned at Bitaugan patrol base in that same town.

On Friday, some 20 heavily armed NPA rebels, believed members of guerilla-Front Committee 19 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) first went to Purok 6 (Barangay Bitaugan) and took both Abao and Miñano at 11p.m. on July 7, then they proceeded to the adjacent Purok 8 and took Quillano at 4 a.m. on July 8 from their houses.

The three belonged to the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion.

Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas, 36th IB commander said the militiamen were unarmed and were abducted while inside their respective homes before terrified family members.

“The members of the CAA were unarmed and were abducted while inside their homes. We condemned such actions as it only shows their lack of compassion for the civilian populace and this is a clear act of terrorism. We are calling out to everyone to help our soldiers and police officers hasten justice needed by those who were abducted,” Rojas said.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., commanding general of the Army’s 4th Infantry (Division (4th ID) condemned the incident as “treacherous act of the NPAs and only shows they are not sincere in their call for peace talks as they grossly violate Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHR-IHL) and attack of noncombatants.”

“They (NPAs) victimized CAAs on off duty and their families and hamper the peace and development projects of the government that are supposed to benefit the communities,” Madrigal said.
“The NPAs terroristic plans and activities have dwindled drastically, this is why they’ve resorted to this kidnapping activity which for us is considered a sign of their frustration.” By CLC

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