By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Three civilians were released by their New People’s Army (NPA) abductors Monday somewhere in the boundary of Tandag City and Lanuza town, Surigao del Sur province.
First Lt. Jonald D. Romorosa, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battallion (36th IB), identified the released hostages as Wendil Delicuna, Jeffrey Delicuna and Angelo Duazo.
Danilo Duaso, chairman of Barangay Mampi in Tandag City, told military and police authorities that the three were freed at Mahawan area, Sitio Banahao, Barangay Maitum, Tandag City on Monday.
However, Duaso said that another civilian Ryard Badiang was still being held captive by the Communist terrorists.
The victims were drifting cut logs for their daily needs when abducted by unidentified armed men in Ibuan area, Tandag City last week (May 30).
The motive of the kidnapping was still not known as of this time.
“Due to the relentless combat and pursuit operation of this unit (36th IB) in an attempt to rescue the four kidnapped victims, the terrorists were forced to release their hostages because it hinders their mobility,” the 36th IB CMO officer said.
He added that field units in the area were still in hot pursuit operation to rescue the remaining abducted civilian who is being used as human shield against the pursuing government troops.
Meanwhile, in his statement Tuesday, Lt. Col. Xerxes A. Trinidad, 36th IB commander said “The terrorists were clearly trying to recover Ibuan area by threatening the community thru kidnapping”.
“Further, they have poisoned the minds of the innocent civilians for them to stop their support to the government particularly in the operationalization of CAA patrol base in their community. Moreover, our units are continuously conducting pursuit operations to rescue the remaining civilian who is still being held and used as human shield by the CNTs,” he said.
“To the CNTs, release the remaining civilian. It is not too late, lay down your arms and return to the folds of the law. Embraced the government in achieving genuine peace and avail the Enhance Comprehensive and Local Integration Program E-CLIP and surrender to the government,” the 36th IB commander added.
The freed kidnapped victims will be scheduled for medical check-up and debriefing today before returning to their families.