THE Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division (ID) said that the New Peoples' Army (NPA) forced the two captured soldiers to wear their military uniforms when they were released as a propaganda ploy.
Captain Rhyan Batchar, 10th ID spokesperson said in a press statement issued Friday, April 21, that the release of the two soldiers on Wednesday at Colonsabak, Matanao, Davao del Sur while wearing their battle dress uniform (BDU) was orchestrated.
"This is the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA's vain attempt to cover up the treacherous and insincere abduction of the soldiers who were unarmed and in civilian clothes in the midst of the peace talks and ceasefire," Batchar said.
The government's troops under the 39th Infantry Battalion, who were earlier released, were identified as Sergeant Solaiman Calucop and Private First Class Samuel Garay.
They were abducted by the NPA last February 2 in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, while the ceasefire was still in effect.
He cited that this is contrary to their usual practice of releasing their kidnapped, wearing shirts with a marked Prisoner of War.
During debriefing after their release, the soldiers said it was the NPA who ordered them to wear their BDU during the release. They were even told to wear these while in captivity, but they refused to.
Batchar said that Calucop has a uniform in his bag when he was abducted while Garay's wife Jessa Mae was asked by a certain Joy Mirasol of Karapatan to bring her husband's BDU on the day of the release.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on April 22, 2017.
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