DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 6, 2011) – Philippine communist rebels snatched Saturday a southern town mayor in Mindanao Island and security forces mounted a large scale operation to rescue the politician, officials said.
Officials said two soldiers who were guarding Mayor Henry Dano, of Lingig town, were also abducted by dozens of New People’s Army rebels who stormed the politician’s house.
The rebels, who arrived in several vehicles, disarmed the mayor’s security guards and seized the politicians and the two soldiers and fled towards Davao Oriental province, a known NPA stronghold in Mindanao.
“There is an ongoing operation to locate the mayor. Our troops together with the military is conducting pursuit operation in (the town of) Boston in Davao Oriental province where the rebels are heading,” said Senior Superintendent Julito Diray, the provincial police chief.
He said the motive of the abduction is still unclear. “We don’t know of any problem between the mayor and the NPA. Our office is conducting an investigation to determine the motive of this kidnapping,” Diray said.
Last year, rebels also abducted then Lingig town Mayor Roberto Luna Jr. and was freed after a successful government negotiation.
In April, dozens of rebels also attacked a police headquarters in Surigao del Sur’s Lianga town, but security forces repulsed the raid and killed one of the raiders.
The NPA is fighting for decades for the establishment of a separate Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)