Body of soldier found in Bukidnon village a year after NPA abduction, executionBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines – The remains of a soldier believed to be abducted and executed by communist rebels last year was found in Pagan village, Bukidnon more than a year after he was declared missing, the military said Wednesday.
Staff Sergeant Wilton Pairat, 55, was abducted by members of the New People’s Army in Kipolot village, Quezon town in Bukidnon on Feb. 6, 2011, said Major Eugenio Osias, Army’s 4th Infantry Division spokesman.
His family clung to hope that he was still alive until the rebels contacted them and confirmed that Pairat was dead.
“It was only this July that the rebels called the family and asked them if they wanted to retrieve his body so his brother went up today to get the corpse. The body was supposed to be given to the village captain and to the local officials but the NPA wanted to give it only to the family so there,” Osias said in Filipino.
He added that Pairat’s family spent about P30,000 to recover his body, but clarified that they did not give cash to the rebels.
“Payment was made to transport Pairat’s body, to the person who dug him up, and then to . . . it’s because nobody wants to go up, nobody wants to retrieve the corpse . . . so payment was made to the digger, transport, food, the fixer, so it cost about P30,000 to retrieve the body,” he said.
He described Pairat’s body as in an advanced state of decomposition.
Pairat was a father of two children and had just applied for retirement when he was abducted.
Major General Victor Felix, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, condoled with the family of Pairat, extended assistance to his family and vowed to help in hunting down the perpetrators.