|(Two Soldiers Captured by Npa)|
BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) should release the two soldiers and a militiaman they have been holding captive now that a truce is in effect, the chief of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID) based in Cagayan de Oro City said yesterday.
Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao said the communist rebels vowed to release the captives as soon as the government declares a suspension of the police and military operations.
"Let's see if the NPA is sincere with its promise. They can now release the captives anywhere and anytime. The nation is waiting for their action," Lactao said.
Maj. Christian Uy, spokesman for the Army’s 4th ID, said the rebels should release Pfcs. Mamel Cinches and Jerrel Yorong, both of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion and militiaman Memerto Araño.
Cinches and Yorong were snatched in Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon last Aug. 22. They were part of a team conducting humanitarian activities in the area when they were kidnapped.
Meanwhile, Araño and his sons, Christopher and Donald, were seized by the rebels in Bayugan City last Dec. 17. The rebels released Araño’s sons hours later and kept him captive.
The kidnapping occurred an hour after the government declared a suspension of military offensives against the NPA.
Earlier, Jorge Madlos, spokesman for the NPA-Mindanao Command, announced that the rebels would be releasing nine of their captives, including two police officers, in time for the group’s 46th founding anniversary on Dec. 26.
Madlos, alias Ka Oris, said the decision to release the nine hostages was also in the spirit of the Christmas season.
On Sunday, the NPA released two Army soldiers seized last Dec. 2 in New Corella town in Davao del Norte.
Pfc. Mark Alvin Ricarte and Cpl. Benjamin Samano were turned over to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in an undisclosed place.
Duterte brought the soldiers to the Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters at Camp Panacan here.
The two soldiers were helping secure a government project in New Corella town.