Injured rebels seek safe conduct pass for medical treatment–officials
MALAPATAN, Sarangani – A leader of the New People’s Army here has asked General Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio for help in obtaining safe-conduct passes so he and his four men could seek medical treatment, the mayor and other officials said.
Lieutenant Colonel Adolfo Espuelas, commanding officer of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion based here, identified the NPA leader as Commander Warren of Front 73.
Warren and four of his men were wounded in a clash with soldiers from his battalion last week, Espuelas said, adding that Warren’s wife, identified as Liezl Torres, was killed in the encounter.
Custodio told reporters all she had received were messages from emissaries that Warren was seeking her assistance in obtaining safe-conduct passes.
She said that Warren, who is nursing combat wounds in his group’s lair in the Daguma Range that straddles the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Maguindanao and Sarangani, wanted to seek medical attention for four of his followers as well.
Espuelas said based on information reaching them, Warren sustained an injury in the spine, which needed serious medical attention.
He said the military was willing to help facilitate the issuance of a safe-conduct pass or bring the wounded rebels to a hospital if they were serious in seeking treatment for their injuries. But no such request has been made by the NPA, he added.
Under the Geneva Convention, Espuelas said, wounded rebels have the right to seek medical attention in any hospital.
Colonel Glorioso Miranda, commanding officer of the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said they have not received a formal request for the issuance of a safe-conduct pass to the rebel leader yet.
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