DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Families of soldiers held captive by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Paquibato have sought the help of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and church leaders to facilitate their release.
“We appeal to your humanitarian reason, especially as my son, Martiniano Pasigas Jr., was the one supporting us while sending his siblings to school,” said Martiniano Sr., 56, in his appeal to the mayor and the NPA leaders who captured him and four others.
The 22-year-old Martiniano Jr. was among the five soldiers captured by the NPA while on their way to Barangay (village) Mapula, Paquibato district.
The soldiers were on board two motorcycles, when a group of NPA rebels stopped them and held them at gunpoint, when they reached Sitio (sub village) Lubas.
Quintin Gura, father of the 26-year-old Private First Class Ronald Gura, also appealed to local authorities to ensure the safe release of his son. “We appeal to you to help facilitate the release of my son,” said Gura. “His mother is already so upset, she can’t eat anything.”
United Church of Christ in the Philippines Bishop Modesto Villasanta expressed confidence of the captives’ safe release.
Aside from Gura and Pasigas, other soldiers captured in Paquibato on June 17, were Corporal Emmanuel Quezon; Private First Class Bernie Padilla; and Private First Class Donato Estandia.