Abducted woman rescued in Maco

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Thursday, January 30, 2014


A WOMAN believed to have been abducted by the members of the New People's Army (NPA) last month was rescued Tuesday by government troops at Sitio Mahayahay in Barangay Teresa, Maco town, Compostela Valley province.

First Lieutenant Vilma Mojado, spokesperson for the Army's 1001st Infantry Brigade, in a phone interview, said the troops belonging to the 71st Infantry Battalion rescued Janise Mataas, 28, of Barangay Teresa in Maco town, at Purok 5 of Sitio Mahayahay around 3 p.m.

Mojado said Mataas was abducted on December 27, 2013 at Purok 1 of Sitio Otod in Barangay Teresa. She added that the incident was immediately reported by the residents to 71st Infantry Battalion.

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She added that the troops endorsed Mataas to Maco Municipal Police Station, after she was rescued. A .38 caliber revolver, which was recovered from the house at Purok 5, was also submitted to the station. The victim is now safe, Mojado said.

In a separate interview, Senior Inspector Pablito Odias, chief of the Maco Police Station, confirmed the rescue of Mataas. He told Sun.Star Davao that the authorities are already collecting the evidence and gathering information from the victim.

"In fact, she's here (Wednesday) to give us details on what happened last month. Hindi mo nga lang pwede pang makausap kasi kinakausap pa siya ng investigators namin," Odias said.

Odias said they are now preparing the charges of abduction to be filed against the NPA rebels who captured and held the victim for four weeks and four days. He also said that Mataas will undergo stress debriefing at Maco's social welfare and development office.

Mojado, on the other hand, said the victim was accused by the NPA as informant of the 71st Infantry Battalion, the reason she was abducted. According to the victim, she was transferred from one place to another during her captivity.

"The 71st Infantry Battalion rescued her (Mataas) at the house of a said NPA supporter at Purok 5 of Sitio Mahayahay in Barangay Teresa. Kaya lang pagdating ng tropa duon sa bahay, wala na ang may-ari, nakaalis na. Baril nalang ang naiwan," Mojado said.

Meanwhile, Colonel Angelito M. de Leon, commander of the 1001st Brigade, said the NPA violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in kidnapping Mataas.

De Leon said the troops in coordination with the Maco police are conducting pursuit operation against suspected rebels and NPA supporter behind the incident.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 30, 2014.

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