Butuan City – The Philippine Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion (36IB) reported that three members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary (CAA) have been abducted by alleged members of the News People’s Army (NPA) in the town of San Miguel in Surigao del Sur Saturday morning.
“We were informed by our patrol unit based in Barangay Bitaugan that three members of our CAA unit were abducted by armed men at around 4:00 in the morning of July 8. We believe that members of the NPA Guerilla Front 21 carried out the abduction, initial information from the ground indicated that around 27 of them took the unarmed CAA members from their respective houses,” said Captain Francisco P Garello Jr, Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 36IB.
Garello identified the abducted militiamen as CAA Jerry Quillano, a 40-year old resident of Purok 8; CAA Mama B. Abao, 24; and 19-year old CAA Aljhun P. Miñano, both from Purok 6 and all from Barangay Bitaugan.
“The NPA rebels first went to Purok 6 and took Abao and Miñano. They then proceeded to the adjacent Purok 8 and took Quillano in front of terrified family members. Reports from residents also suggest that the NPA who led the abduction were identified as Joven Agustin, Alvin Maca and Alyas Arby,” said Garello.
Lt. Col. Randolph P. Rojas, battalion commander of the 36IB, condemned the action of the NPA, citing that such abductions amounted to nothing more but acts of terrorism.
“The members of the CAA were unarmed and abducted while inside their homes. We condemn such actions as it only shows their lack of compassion for the civilian populace, and this is a clear act of terrorism. We are calling out to everyone to help our soldiers and police officers hasten the process of justice needed by those who were abducted,” said Rojas.
When the abduction took place, soldiers were conducting military operation in several parts of Surigao del Sur to implement the Brigade’s response to what they perceived as a threat from the NPA, as intelligence reports indicated that the armed group apparently intended to heighten its tactical offensive on both military and government installations.
Last May 17, 2017, the NPA abducted CAA Jerimeas E. Estrada in Purok Lansones, Barangay San Agustin Norte, Tandag City in the province of Surigao del Sur. The CAA was released six days later at Palo Cinco, Barangay Buenavista of the same city.
The NPA has yet to issue a statement on this latest abduction.