One more soldier released to Duterte

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Monday, May 19, 2014


THE New People's Army (NPA) released on Monday its prisoner of war (POW) to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, 16 days after being captured by the rebels in Kapalong town in Davao del Norte.

Released was Corporal Rogelio Rosales belonging to Bravo Company of the 60th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. Rosales was captured in Barangay Florida around 10:40 a.m. May 3.

Duterte fetched Rosales from an undisclosed area in Davao del Norte and transported the POW via chopper to Camp Felix Apolinario Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao in Panacan, Davao City, where they arrived at 1 p.m.

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The National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao Region (NDF-SMR) ordered the release of the POW a few days ago, following the humanitarian appeals by the families, local government units, and peace advocates.

Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division, expressed his gratitude to the city mayor and peace advocates who negotiated for the safe release of the POW.

Bernardo said Rosales will undergo medical examination and physical and psychological stress debriefing at Camp Panacan Hospital before he will go back to the service.

Northern Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command of the NPA spokesperson Aris Francisco earlier said the guerillas arrested Rosales for allegedly coddling and protecting massive loggings in Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley, and Davao del Norte.

"Prisoner of War Rosales was on the process of arranging for the transit of logs when apprehended by the NPA guerrillas. A sachet of (suspected) shabu was also found in his possession, proof that soldiers who are coddling big loggers in the province were also into the illegal drug trade," Francisco said.

But Bernardo earlier denied the accusations of the NPA rebels, saying, Rosales cannot be involved in illegal-logging since the AFP/10th Infantry Division is very active in the anti-illegal-logging task force.

Lieutenant Colonel Norman Zuniega, spokesperson for the 10th Infantry Division, on the other hand, said while Rosales was already released, the authorities are also conducting investigation as to the whereabouts of the Barangay chief of Malamudao in Maco town in Compostela Valley, who went missing on Sunday.

Zuniega said that barangay chief Edgardo Reambonanza was allegedly taken by three unidentified men onboard a single motorcycle, at the Barangay Hall in Malamuda around 5 p.m. He added that he could not yet tell whether the rebels are behind on the incident.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 20, 2014.

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