Abducted soldiers found dead; 2 more seized by the NPA
Three soldiers who were seized by communist New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas in the south have been found dead, the military said on Thursday, as two more government troopers were reported kidnapped by the rebels.
The bodies of the slain Army soldiers bore multiple gunshot wounds and were found on Wednesday afternoon in Kibalabag village, Malaybalay City in the province of Bukidnon, military spokesperson Gen. Restituto Padilla said.
The slain soldiers belonged to the Bayanihan Team Activity squad and were abducted by suspected NPA rebels in Manalog village where they were deployed. Their names have been withheld pending notification of their families.
The Army said the soldiers had just collected their living allowance when they went missing.
The rebels also abducted two soldiers in the town of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat province, on Thursday morning. They were returning to battalion headquarters aboard a motorcycle when they were seized by about 10 armed men, suspected to be NPA rebels, the army said.
The abductions and killings came as the NPA announced it was ending a unilateral ceasefire this month in protest over the government’s refusal to release more jailed comrades and the military’s continued advance into rebel-held areas.
But Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, said the NPA showed a “complete disregard” of their earlier pronouncement that it would recall its ceasefire only by Feb. 10, or days away from the abductions.
“This action of the NPA further confirms that it is never a people’s army but a nuisance propaganda army of the local communists,” he stressed.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has reopened peace negotiations with Manila.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.