Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members released on Monday a soldier’s two children who they seized in Kapalong, Davao Del Norte, on Sunday, the military said.

Mira Luna, 17, and Mona Lisa Masoluon, 12, were freed around 8 a.m. through negotiations by Datu Domingo, tribal chief of Sitio Kawayan, Brgy. Gupitan, Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said.

Mira Luna and Mona Lisa, children of Pfc. Lito Masaluon, were seized by rebels while they were travelling with their father in Sitio Danao, Brgy Mandalingan, around 9:30 a.m., Paniza said.

The three, along with another civilian, were riding the elder Masaluon’s motorcycle when seven suspected NPA members fired upon them, Paniza said.

Masaluon and his children were on the way back to the Kimantaan detachment, where he is assigned, after picking up a sack of rice in Sitio Danao, according to the regional Army spokesman.

Sensing that his children will be in danger if he stays with them, Masaluon opted to divert the attackers’ attention to the opposite direction, leaving his children, Paniza said.

“Failing to kill Masaluon, the NPAs took the children instead… He ran to escape and to ask for help, but three NPAs followed him and continued firing at him,” Paniza said.

Masaluon is among the many military personnel who fell victim to the devastation brought by typhoon “Pablo,” according to Paniza.

“Our house was washed out by the flashflood in Kapalong, that is why I brought my two children to the detachment, for shelter,” Paniza quoted Masaluon as saying. (John Roson)

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