DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 7, 2011) – Security forces continue to track down a southern Filipino town mayor abducted by communist rebels in the restive region of Mindanao, officials said Sunday.
Troops have been deployed to the province of Davao Oriental where New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have escaped with their hostage, Mayor Henry Dano, of Lingig town from the neighboring province of Surigao del Sur.
Dano was seized by dozens of rebels from his house on August 6 for a still unknown reason and the provincial governor Johnny Pimentel said they were trying to get in touch the NPA to seek the safe release of the mayor.
“We are trying to get in touch with them. There is no contact up to this time,” Pimentel said.
The NPA did not give any statement about the abduction, but the government said pursuing security forces clashed with rebels in the province that left one pro-government militia dead and four other wounded.
Manila is still silent on the effect to the peace talks of Dano’s abduction which occurred in the middle of negotiations between the Aquino government and communist leaders. The rebels have previously demanded the release of all political prisoners in jails across the country.
Communist rebel leaders have repeatedly accused President Benigno Aquino of being a puppet of the Washington and criticized his secret meeting recently in Tokyo with Murad Ebrahim, the leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels.
“Only his US imperialist masters could persuade Aquino to do away with all diplomatic niceties in order to carry out publicity gimmicks and score political points. The apparent aim of the US-Aquino regime in meeting the MILF in Tokyo is to gain a moral high ground and put public pressure on the MILF to put an end to its armed resistance,” the Communist Party of the Philippines said.
“Aquino’s unannounced and extra-diplomatic Tokyo rendezvous is starkly similar to his protocol-breaking unannounced boarding of the USS Carl Vinson last May which was hastily arranged by US embassy officials in Manila. American Ambassador Harry Thomas is acting like the CIA’s Chief of Mission in the Philippines that is directing the political, economic and military affairs of the Aquino government in accordance with its counterinsurgency objectives,” it added.
It said Washington have long been interested in putting an end to the Muslim armed resistance in order to pave the way for US corporations to carry out the thorough plunder of the remaining oil, timber and mineral resources in Mindanao areas.
“There is no bright future for the Filipino people under the Aquino regime,” the CPP said, adding the rapid fall in Aquino’s popularity shows that the stark realities of poverty, mass unemployment and hunger have exposed Aquino’s chicanery and illusions of reform to the Filipino people.
The CPP also ordered rebel forces to continue its attacks on government targets across the country despite the peace talks. (Mindanao Examiner)