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Militiamen released by NPA rebels

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By Mike U. Crismundo

Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – After a week in captivity, three members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA) were released by the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur province Friday, based on a sketchy military report that reached this city yesterday.

Released were Jerrick Quillano, 40; Mama P. Abao, 24; and Aljhun P. Miñano,19, all of Barangay Bitaugan, San Miguel town and assigned at Bitaugan Patrol Base in San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur.

A flash report also reaching this city said the three CAA members were already reunited with their respective families after they were released at 10:30 a.m. on Friday in the hinterlands of Barangay Bitaugan in San Miguel town of that same province and still being assisted by the operating military units in the area.

No official statement has been released by their respective families but the command group of the Army’s 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, led by Col. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal based in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, said the released CAA members will undergo debriefing before going back to their patrol base.

“We are still assessing their respective condition and we will give them medical check-up,” said Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas, commanding officer of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion (36th IB), in a phone interview with The Manila Bulletin yesterday.

The militiamen were abducted by about 20 heavily armed NPA rebels, believed to be members of guerilla-Front Committee 19 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) that first went to Purok 6 (Barangay Bitaugan) and took both Abao and Miñano at 11 p.m. on July 7, then proceeded to the adjacent Purok 8 and took Quillano at 4 a.m. on July 8 from their houses in front of terrified family members, the military report said.

The CPP-NPA NEMRC has yet to issue a statement on the release of the three militiamen.

The motive of abduction is still not known.

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