6 village poll bets abducted-A A +A
Friday, October 25, 2013
MANILA -- Six candidates in next week's barangay elections in Agusan del Sur were abducted by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) on Thursday, hours after the rebels attacked a military detachment in the area.
Captain Alberto Caber, spokesman of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command, said rescue operations are underway to secure the freedom of the victims, all belonging to the Lumad tribe.
Caber identified the victims as Lito Andalaque, Balaba Andalaque, Reynaldo Piodos, Marvin Bantuasan, Gina Bantuasan, and Pepe Subla who were snatched around 6 a.m. at Sabud village in Loreto town.
About an hour earlier, Caber said an Army detachment in the same village was attacked by about 30 NPA rebels. There were no reports of casualties inflicted on both sides.
During their withdrawal, he said the rebels abducted the six victims who are seeking elective posts in the October 28 elections.
"They are still being held captive by the NPA kidnappers who are obviously trying to influence the barangay election," said Caber, adding that the six are not supportive of the rebels.
Also, Caber said it was also possible that the rebels used the six as human shields.
Caber said soldiers were promptly deployed to pursue the rebels after the abduction. He said the troops engaged the rebels shortly after, resulting in the wounding of a soldier, Private First Class Jose Gil Cabillo.
Caber said Loreto town officials are organizing a crisis management team to help secure the freedom of the six victims. (VR/Sunnex)