Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Rebels block highway, abduct mayors and escorts in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 5, 2010) – Philippine troops were sent Wednesday to rescue a town mayor and four of his security escorts abducted by communist rebels who blockaded a highway in Mindanao where security forces are battling insurgents, a military spokesman told the Mindanao Examiner.

The spokesman said more than two dozen New People's Army rebels seized Mayor Roberto Luna Jnr of Lingig town in Agusan del Sur province and two soldiers and two policemen escorting him.

“The mayor and his escorts are being held hostage by the NPA. Troops are pursuing the rebels,” said Army Captain Emmanuel Garcia, of the 10th Infantry Division.

Garcia said the rebels struck at around 6 a.m. after putting up a checkpoint near the boundary of Agusan del Sur and Compostela Valley provinces. “We condemn and deplore this act of terrorism by the New People’s Army,” he said. “We are awaiting progress report from our field commanders about the pursuit operation.”

He said the 10th and the 4th Infantry Divisions are involved in the rescue mission.

The motive of the attack was unknown, but the NPA earlier warned politicians campaigning for the May 10 general elections should pay so-called “campaign fees” in area where the rebels are actively operating.

The rebels have so far disarmed politicians and their bodyguards and torched their campaign vehicles the past weeks for their failure to pay the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is waging a secessionist war for the past four decades now.
(Mindanao Examiner)

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