12 militia, two soldiers were allegedly abducted by NPAs in Agusan del Sur
Twelve militiamen and two soldiers were allegedly abducted by New People’s Army (NPA) members who overran the Army’s Special Forces (SF) patrol base in a remote area in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur early Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the Cagayan de Oro City-based 4th Infantry Division said two NPA groups numbering around 50, were involved in the attack that took place at New Tubigon Patrol Base at around 3 a.m.
“The Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion is pursuing the perpetrators who immediately fled after the incident,” Villanueva said.
The rebels grabbed 17 M16s, four M14s, two R4 Carbines, one M60 machinegun and one Harris handheld radio.
Villanueva said an investigation is being done why the NPA assault was successfully carried out when the soldiers are supposed to be on highest alert.
Quoting reports by Lt. Col. Rhoderick Parallag, commanding officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, Villanueva said an AugustaWestland attack helicopter failed to pursue the rebels due to thick clouds.
“The abducted soldiers are protected by the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law or IHL which requires the NPAs to inform their families of their capture, their status and location. The abducted soldiers also have the right under the IHL to have to contact with their families or relatives,” Parallag, in a statement said. DMS