The New People’s Army (NPA) finally released an Army soldier it held captive for three months in Barangay Caman-an, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on Saturday afternoon.
Bishop Rey Timbang of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) said Private First Class Erwin Salan of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battallion (30th IB), was turned to the third-party facilitator by the NPA custodial force of guerilla-Front Committee 16 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
Before the turn-over event, Salan underwent a medical checkup that found him unharmed and in fine shape, Timbang said.
Salan’s immediate kin was there to welcome him back.
Salan was abducted by some 15 armed NPAs while conducting forest clean up drive, along with youth volunteers within the vicinity of Lumondo Falls, in Barangay Budlingin, Alegria on January 29.
Rey “Ka Oto” Calaste, spokesperson of the NPA Front Committee 16, said Salan’s release was in support of the resumption of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and CPP-NDF.
In his brief remark, Salan said he was thankful to local crisis management committee, local officials and religious group and all those who helped in facilitating his release.
The rebels , he said , treated him well and he was looking forward to reporting back to work at his mother unit. By CLC