Freed soldier faces dismissal

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Saturday, May 24, 2014


AN ARMY soldier who was released Monday, 16 days after being held captive by the New People's Army (NPA) in Kapalong town in Davao del Norte, is facing dismissal from the military service, Capt. Ernest D Carolina, spokesperson for the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said.

Corporal Rogelio Rosales, belonging to Bravo Company of the 10th IS, was released to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte in an undisclosed area in Kapalong.

"Corporal Rosales is facing possible (dismissal) from the service (after he was) found him guilty of violating the Articles of War 97, committing an act, which is prejudicial to good orders and military discipline and discredits the entire organization," Carolina said.

Northern Davao South Agusan Sub regional command of the NPA spokesperson Aris Francisco earlier said the rebels arrested Rosales for allegedly protecting illegal logging operations in Agusandel Sur, Davao del Note, and Compostela Valley.

Rosales denied this allegation.

"Rosales was in the process of arranging the transport of logs when seized by the 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.

During his release, Rosales admitted that he was using illegal drugs that prompted the battalion to conduct its subsequent investigation. But urine and blood tests conducted on the soldier showed negative result.

Lt. Colonel Roberto Bunagan, commander of the 60th Infantry Battalion, on the other hand, said the drug test results were irrelevant, and that he can still be held liable for administrative punishment, adding that Rosales committed a serious offense.

"He already admitted that he was using illegal drugs in a sworn statement during his investigation. This is a very grave offense with a correspondingly grave punishment in an organization with such a sensitive responsibility towards the people," Bunagan said.

Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega, chief of the 10th ID Public Affairs Office, in a press conference at Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday, assured soldiers will go through random drug testing at least, once per quarter.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 25, 2014.

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