A tribal chieftain was abducted by alleged members of the New People’s Army in Surigao del Sur Monday morning.
However, Eusebio Meniano, also a member of the government militia, was later released in exchange for food.
Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commander of the 402 Infantry Brigade, said that Meniano, 43, is a municipal tribal chieftain of Carmen, Surigao del Sur and assigned to the 1st platoon, 10th SDS Cafgu Auxiliary 1 Company, San Roque patrol base, Barangay San Roque, Madrid.
Gacal said rebels were believed to be members of Platoon 2, GFC 30, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command under Raul Alacre alias Ka Megan, abducted CAA Meniano at around 4 a.m. while he was inside his house with his family.
The brigade commander said the incident caused panic and fear among the family members and the residents who sought the help of the army.
The 36th Infantry Battalion immediately launched a pursuit operation to rescue Meniano. They encountered around seven rebels who detonated an IED, which wounded a Cafgu member on his arms and legs.
While on pursuit, operating troops encountered more or less seven NPAs who later detonated an IED that resulted to the wounding of one CAA who sustained minor shrapnel wounds at his arms and legs.
The wounded was brought to Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center Provincial Hospital in Tandag City and is now in stable condition.
Gacal further said the abduction of a militiaman in non-combat status is a violation of the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and R.A. 9851.
Meanwhile, after hours of negotiation made by local officials, Meniano was released after the NPAs received a few kilos of meat, fish, sugar, and coffee.
The military was grateful for Meniano’s release but pursuit operations will continue.