By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY — Local officials in Carmen, Surigao del Sur are working on the release of an abducted tribal leader who was abducted by Communist rebels earlier this week.
The rebels are reportedly considering releasing the individual in exchange for food and supplies, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.
Carmen officials negotiated for the release of Eusebio Meniano, Maj. Ezra Balagtey said in a statement.
Meniano was abducted about 4 a.m. on July 23 at his home at Purok 4, Brgy. Hinapuyan, Carmen, Surigao Del Sur by around seven NPA rebels.
The rebels took him towards Kinaputian in the same barangay.
The negotiations came as the 36th Infantry Battalion initially conducted rescue operations for the tribal leader.
The rebels detonated an improvised explosives devise (IED), which injured civilian auxiliary.
The wounded was brought to Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center (ASTMMC) in Tandag City and is now in a stable condition.
Meanwhile, Lt. General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command said that the incident was an expressed manifestation of hardships being experienced by the NPAs.
“This incident of abducting a tribal leader in exchange of food confirms the revelation of former rebels who surrendered before that the NPAs are now experiencing hardship, where they have no food to eat and that they are always running to evade pursuing troops,” Lt Gen Madrigal Jr. said.
Lt. Gen Madrigal likewise called on the NPAs to come down be part of and experience the change being pursued by the government.