Surigao del Sur mayor, 2 military escorts freed by rebels

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/09 October) — Mayor Henry Dano of Lingig, Surigao del Sur and his two military escorts were released today by the New People’s Army unit that had held them captive since August 6 this year, the National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao said.

In a statement, NDF-SM spokesperson Rubi del Mundo said that Dano was released after his case was “conditionally archived” on account of his having issued an apology for the acts the rebel group had alleged against him.

“But in the event that he willfully commits an act or acts that constitute violation of human rights, international humanitarian law and the laws and policies of the people’s government, he shall be rearrested and put to trial,” the NDF warned.

The rebels also released Dano’s escorts, Corporal Alrey Desamparado and Private First Class Alan Saban of the 4th Infantry Division’s intelligence unit, “despite a strong basis for the imposition of the maximum penalty of death by the military tribunal on account of the blood debts and acts of espionage they have committed against the revolutionary movement in the course of their performance of AFP military intelligence work.”

“But they are being conditionally released to give them a chance to remold and rectify by ceasing any participation in the armed counter-revolutionary operations of the GPH,” the statement said, adding they would be placed in an “order of battle” if they continue to commit hostile acts against the revolutionary movement.

The NDF clarified they were not treating Dano as a prisoner of war but as “an accused under the custody of the revolutionary people’s democratic government”.

Dano and his escorts were released by the NPA’s Conrado Heredia Command to their wives at 2pm Sunday in Barangay New Visayas, Trento, Agusan del Sur. (MindaNews)