NPA to release captured soldier if AFP suspends operations

In a press statement Friday, Ka Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the Alejandro Lanaja Command of the NPA Front 3, said they would set free Army Sgt. Raul Reyes “if the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) implements a suspension of military operations (SOMO)” in the towns of Monkayo, Montevista, Nabunturan, and Laak in Compostela Valley, and Veruela, Sta. Josefa and Loreto towns in Agusan del Sur.

The guerrillas took Reyes and two other members of the paramilitary group, Civilian Action Auxiliary after they raided on October 7 the detachment of the 72nd Infantry Battalion of the Army in Canidkid, Montevista in Compostela Valley.

Reyes was the detachment commander in the area.  Glorieto Mahumas and Rudy Villaflor were members of the CAA of the 72nd IB but Francisco said the two escaped early this week “because the main custodial force unit had focused on military regular Sgt. Reyes and not on the two paramilitary men”.

Despite the escape, the NPA said “there is no chance of escape for Reyes”.

The Army, however, said it would still investigate on whether or not the two were allowed to escape.

Francisco said Reyes and his men were still undergoing investigation at an undisclosed guerrilla camp. 

“The results of the investigation showed that individually, they did not commit grave crimes against the people and the revolution. But their release procedures had been hampered by the continuous AFP military operations," he said. (MindaNews)