Soldier suspected of faking NPA captivity
DAVAO CITY—A soldier recently released from captivity by communist guerrillas is feeling the heat of having a relationship with an activist as the military is investigating if his love life is in any way connected to suspicions that his capture by the guerrillas was “staged.”
Pfc Khen Subere had been released from captivity by the New People’s Army (NPA) after spending nearly three months in a guerrilla camp somewhere in Sarangani province.
Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año, head of the 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley province, said the military suspicion that Subere’s capture by the NPA was staged is based on Subere having a girlfriend who is a member of a militant organization.
Año did not identify the woman, but said she is “active” in militant organizations.
The possibility that the capture of Subere was “orchestrated and that he had links with the NPA is being investigated,” Año said.
“It’s a possibility,” said the general, pressed by reporters if he really believed Subere’s capture and captivity had been staged.
Subere, who is assigned to the 27th Infantry Battalion in Kiamba, Sarangani, was visiting his relatives in Barangay (village) New Dumangas in T’boli, South Cotabato when abducted by guerrillas on April 12.
Just a few days after his disappearance, the NPA issued a statement saying they had him in custody and was being investigated for his supposed involvement in psychological warfare under the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Oplan Bayanihan.
On June 13, the NPA handed him to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in a remote area of Sarangani province.
Duterte said he had asked the rebels to free Subere based on the appeal of the parents.
Año said the military would start its investigation into Subere’s Awol (absences without leave).
Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said Subere went Awol on April 11, a day before he was taken captive by the NPA. He said following the military’s rule on absenteeism, Subere was dismissed from service on June 2.
“Dates are important in the investigation because when a soldier goes on Awol and fails to return after 10 days, his name will be dropped from the list of the Army,” Caber said.
The NPA has taken soldiers in captivity several times in the past, mostly following clashes with the Army.
Many had been freed after they were found innocent of so-called crimes against the people by tribunals formed by the guerrillas. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao
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