Mayoral candidate seized by NPA freed
MANILA, Philippines—A candidate for mayor in Baganga, Davao Oriental who was allegedly abducted by suspected members of the New People’s Army for his failure to pay the rebels “permit to campaign” fees, has been released, police said Friday.
Senior Superintendent Jose Carumba, officer-in-charge of the Davao Oriental police, said independent candidate Ronie Osnan was freed around 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Sitio Marquez in Barangay Campawan—the same area where he was abducted by the communist rebels on Wednesday.
The rebels let Osnan walk down the mountain unaccompanied, he said.
“During our debriefing, Osnan said he was released without any condition,” Carumba said, adding that the negotiator who facilitated his release claimed that NPA rebels said that Osnan’s violation was, indeed, his failure to pay the rebel campaign fees.
Carumba stressed that the so-called permit to campaign fees is nothing but plain extortion.
He said PNP has provided security detail for Osnan, and encouraged him to coordinate with police every time he goes around to campaign.
On Wednesday, Pastor Manny Quizon was also abducted, but was released just a few hours ago.
“Ang pagkakasabi niya is palakad lakad lang daw sila,” Carumba said when asked where Osnan was held.
Pursuit operations have been launched for the possible arrest of Osnan’s abductors.
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