(Ito po sila ang dalawang sundalong bihag ng mga CPP-NPA sa bukidnon)
Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental--Church leaders in Northern Mindanao are pressing for the release of two soldiers captured by the New People’s Army last August in Bukidnon.
Iglesia Filipina Indepiendente Bishop Felixberto Calang over the weekend said an interfaith dialogue is seeking the release of Private First Class Marnel Cinches and Jerrel Yorong after negotiations failed in September.
On record, they belong to the Community Organizing for Peace and Development of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion were captured by the NPA on August 22, 2014 in Barangay Buntongon in Impasug-ong.
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma expressed optimism over the religious sector’s moral support to get the soldiers back to their families soon.
Earlier, the NPA offered a 10-day truce and asked for a Suspension of Military Operation (SOMO), Suspension of Police Operation (SOPO) as conditions to set the troppers free.
Calang and Ledesma have sought the assistance of Department of Interior and Local GovernmentSecretary Mar Roxas, who attended the launching of the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS).
Last October 11, he signed an agreement supporting UBAS along with lawyer Edmund Abesamis, president of Liga ng mga Barangay and City Mayor Oscar Moreno.
Calang said the safe conduct pass for the soldiers must be worked out by the government panel and the captors.
Before the failed release in September, the NPA cited a directive from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), waiving investigation and trial of the captives.
“As a gesture of goodwill and sincerity from the revolutionary movement in its hope for the resumption ofpeace talks between NDFP and the government of the Philippines (GPH), and due to humanitarian considerations for the POWs and their families,” Alan Juanito, spokesman of the NPA-North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
Even as the interfaith dialogue urged the rebels to patient over their demand for a truce, Major Christian Uy, 4th ID spokesman, said top military leaders had the final say.
“What the NPA did is kidnapping military personnel which is illegal and we have to uphold the law,” he said.