Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members abducted seven militiamen, two policemen, and a civilian in separate incidents in the Caraga region on Sunday and Monday, authorities said Tuesday.
Mario Libanda, 39; Tuloy Libanda, 36; Rejoy Francisco, 25; and Rubio Asalan, 23, all members of the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA), were abducted at a checkpoint manned by about 30 rebels in Brgy. Mahayhay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, around 9 a.m. Monday, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.
The militiamen were riding a motorcycle to Brgy. Binicalan, San Luis, when they were flagged down at the rebel checkpoint, he said.
The fully-armed men at the roadblock are believed to be members of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerrilla Front 88, Cabangbang said.
Militiamen assigned to nearby Army detachments have been directed to track down the rebels while local officials of San Luis have created a crisis management task group to work for the victims’ release, he said.
The abduction occurred only several hours after other NPA members abducted two policemen in Loreto, also in Agusan del Sur, on Sunday night.
PO2 Ronald Alan Muñez and PO1 Nemuel España, both assigned at the Loreto Police Station, were abducted by about six rebels in Brgy. Poblacion around 11:15 p.m. Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.
Muñez and España were conducting surveillance operations against the suspect for a stabbing incident in Sitio Moto, when the rebels seized and brought them towards Sitio Marang, Brgy. Kasapa, Gamba said.
The local government of Loreto has activated a crisis management committee to work for the hostages’ release, he said.
Earlier on Sunday, rebels abducted three more militiamen and a civilian in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.
At least five rebels abducted CAA members Evangeline Cabodbod, Leonardo Sevellejo Sr., Danny Sevellejo, and civilian Vicente Bolgado near Road 4H in Sitio Greenfield, Brgy. Sta. Juana, around 10 a.m., according to a report from the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
The four had just attended mass when they were seized by armed men who are believed to be members of the NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerrilla Front 14, the report said.
Capt. Christian Uy, acting spokesman of the 4th ID, confirmed the report, but said the rebels have already freed Bolgado.
The incident occurred less than an hour after five rebel snipers fired at the 23rd Infantry Battalion’s patrol base in Sitio Greenfield.
Lito Dagium, one of the militiamen manning the patrol base that time, suffered a bullet wound to the right side of the body due to the sniping.
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