MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 August) — Mayor Henry Dano of Lingig, Surigao del Sur and six other persons being held captives by the New People’s Army will face the “People’s Court” for “various armed hostile acts against the revolutionary forces”.
In a statement, the Merardo Arce Command of the NPA in Southern Mindanao said the charges “point to Mayor Dano’s direct and indirect, overt and covert participation in armed hostilities waged by the AFP, PNP and their intelligence and paramilitary units against the NPA”.
Dano was snatched from his house on Aug. 6 along with two soldiers who acted as his security aides.
The NPA statement identified the soldiers as Army Corporal Alrey Villasis Desamparado and Private First Class Allan Pelino, who are said to be operatives of the 75th Infantry Battalion’s Intelligence Section.
“Documentary evidence taken from them confirm their S2 (intelligence) status, designation, task, functions and records,” it said.
Dano will undergo “an investigation to determine his individual liability with respect to complaints lodged against him before the People’s Court for various armed hostile acts against the revolutionary forces,” it added.
It said he has maintained a private armed group and engaged in intelligence work against the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 20, “functions and tasks [that are] already outside the domain of his work as a civilian functionary of a local GPH unit”.
In the same statement, the NPA said it was according “prisoner of war” status to the four Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel from Ozamiz City abducted by the rebels on July 21.
The rebels seized Jail Inspectors Eric Llamasares (Ozamiz City jail warden), Murphy Todyog, Special Jail Officer 2 Rogelio Begontes and JO1 Rolando Bajuyo Jr. during a daring early morning “rescue” of their alleged comrade Dennis Rodenas last July 21 along the highway in Kitaotao, Bukidnon.
The statement said the four BJMP officers may also face charges for “possible complicity to violations of human rights and IHL in the conduct of their role in the operations of the armed security machinery of the reactionary government”.
Bukidnon Vice Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. meanwhile confirmed reports the NPA has proposed an exchange of prisoners.
But the rebels did not specify who among their comrades they wanted to be released in exchange for the freedom of the BJMP personnel, he said.
He revealed that a female emissary from the rebel group met with the wives of the captives last week and relayed the demand.
Zubiri said he will wait for final word from the NPA before meeting with national officials, including Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno with reports from Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)