In a statement, the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command said it released today 1Lt. Vicente P. Cammayo in the boundary of Laac, Compostela Valley and Loreto, Agusan del Sur.
Cammayo, a member of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, surrendered during the November 7 NPA ambush in sitio Anagase, Barangay Casoon in Monkayo, Davao del Norte.
The NPA blamed the delay in Cammayo’s release on attempts by the 10th Infantry Division to rescue the captive soldier. It said the military ignored calls by various groups to suspend operations in order to ensure his safe release.
The rebel group also accused the military of committing human rights violations when it launched the rescue operation for Cammayo.
Meanwhile, the Interfaith Movement for Peace and the Release of Cammayo and Tumol said its members witnessed the release of Cammayo to local government officials and church people.
In a statement, the group credited the release to efforts for dialogue and negotiation.
At the same time, the group urged the government and the National Democratic Front to comply with their bilateral agreements.
It also asked the military not to conduct ‘vengeful’ operations that would only cause “further setback in the peace process and continuously trample the rights of the Lumads (indigenous peoples) and peasant communities.”
”As we exalt today for the safe release of the captive, we do not forget that this is just a beginning of a long journey. Genuine peace remains elusive in the midst of poverty and injustice. We have come here to make another phase in continuing our journey towards genuine peace,” the statement, signed by Philippine Independent Church Bishop Delfin Callao as IMPACT convener, said. (MindaNews)