Thursday, May 13, 2010

NPA rebels raid Philippine village; seize 3 soldiers

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 13, 2010) - Communist rebels seized three government soldiers and a militia attending a birthday celebration in the southern Filipino province of Compostela Valley, a military spokesman said on Thursday.

Captain Emmanuel Garcia, of the 10th Infantry Division, said New People’s Army rebels swooped down on the village of Sawangan in the town of Mawab and seized the soldiers on Wednesday.

He said the soldiers were attending the birthday party of another infantryman’s child when the rebels swooped down. The prisoners were identified as Corporals Marcial Bawagan, Ariel Asumo, Eduardo Alcala and Victor Pitogo, a government militia.

“Witnesses said the victims were forcefully taken to a waiting black van and sped away,” Garcia said.

He said the local community is seeking the help of the Catholic Church to intervene in behalf of the victims after one of the soldier’s wife, Jenny Bawagan, consulted with Father Christopher Segura, the village parish priest, who appealed to the rebels to free the prisoners.

The New People’s Army is the military wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines which is waging a secessionist war for decades now. (Mindanao Examiner)

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