NPA frees Agusan Sur’s top small-scale mine operator
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – Communist rebels “secretly” freed on Monday afternoon a small-scale gold mining operator they held for two days, saying he was cleared of charges of engaging in anti-insurgency activities.
Ka Amihan, spokesperson for New People’s Army’s Front 14, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone that they found no sufficient evidence to investigate Carson Ceasar Lademora, prompting them to release him without going through the process of a third party facilitator done mostly with police and military captives.
He was secretly turned over without media coverage to Rosario town Mayor Jose Cuyos Sr., his wife, the town’s Vice Mayor Juvy Cuyos and town councilor Belarmino Balagot in an undisclosed municipal road in neighboring Tagbina town in Surigao del Sur just before dusk.
“He is OK now and is back to work,” said Lademora’s wife Eufemia, who admitted having sleepless nights since Lademora’s abduction.
She said Carson Ceasar asked not to be interviewed by local media.
Lademora and his aide, Leonardo Cacao, were held by the NPA rebels on Saturday after they raided his gold mining tunnels in Sitio Sinug-ang, Barangay Bayugan 3 in Rosario town.
Cacao was released hours after they were taken by the rebels.
Lademora operates small-scale tunnels in the high-grade gold rush area in Sinug-ang, Bayugan 3, which his family has been claiming since the early 1980s.
Amihan dismissed reports that Lademora was released after the payment of ransom money. She maintained they have always strictly adhered to the revolutionary movement’s principles not to be regarded as a kidnap-for-ransom group.
She, however, admitted Lademora was interrogated if he still had hidden caché of firearms, but the captive swore that the 21 high-powered assorted firearms the rebels confiscated during the raid were all that he got and all that his mining workers used to secure their tunnels.
Amihan said they did not find sufficient evidence that Lademora had been committing atrocities against the poor residents of his community, the same offenses alleged to have been committed by his late father.
Lademora, who is in his 40s, is a son of the late Philippine Constabulary (PC) Col. Carlos Lademora, leader of the dreaded “Lost Command,” whose reign in this town in the 1980s terrorized residents, according to the New People’s Army
“He did not have that kind of record, so we did not consider him a POW (prisoner of war),” Amihan said. SFM/rga
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