Laak mayor 'clueless' on soldier's abduction

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014


MAYOR Reynaldo B. Navarro is clueless on the recent abduction in his town, wherein members of the New People's Army (NPA) collared a soldier in Barangay Andap in Laak town in Compostela Valley on April 4.

The NPA rebels of the Comval-North Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command held the soldier identified as Sergeant Jeric B. Curay, a platoon team leader under the Philippine Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion.

Curay was on his way back to their detachment from visiting a relative when the rebels kidnapped him.

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Navarro told Sun.Star Davao that he had no idea about the abduction until soldiers informed him and relatives of the soldier sought the assistance of the local government unit. The mayor was quick to add that he is willing to help the family of the soldier.

"If the NPA will allow me to negotiate with them... makig-negotiate jud ko sa ila. Dili man pud gud ko pwede mu-largo lang ug negotiate sa ila kung wala pud ilang pag tugot. If duna may dali maka-negotiate sa ila wala’y lain kundi si Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte ug ang Third Party Facilitator, (If the NPA will allow me to negotiate with them, I would. I can't just come up to them and start a negotiation without their say-so. If there's anyone who can easily negotiate with them, it would be Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and the third party facilitator,)" Navarro said.

Navarro, on the other hand, said that the multi-stakeholders in Laak are set to conduct a prayer rally for the release of the soldier.

He said the prayer rally will be graced by the members of the church, public-and private sectors, students and youth, and the local government.

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao (NDF-SM) spokesperson Aris Francisco said in his statement that Curay was captured in line with the NPA’s campaign against elements of the government armed forces that are reportedly protecting big logging firms that wiped out forests in some Mindanao provinces.

Francisco said the arrest of the soldier and other tactical offensives should serve as a strong warning against their enemies who continue to protect exploiters of remaining natural resources at the expense of the environmental preservation and people’s welfare.

Major Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division's Civil Military Operation Battalion, however, denied the accusations of the communist rebels.

He said the abduction is a scare tactic against soldiers enforcing the Peace and Development Outreach Program.

The NDF, on the other hand, assured the safety and security of the seized soldier.

Francisco said Curay would undergo tactical interrogation for his involvement in counter-revolutionary and anti-people activities in Laak.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 09, 2014.

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