The two government troopers who escaped from the rebels should be promoted for their bravery, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go said.
Go said Corporal Johannes Parreno and Cafgu member Dindo Malibay Sagayno even deserve the Lapu Lapu award.
“I will recommend to the President that they will be given awards or promotions,” Go said as he met the two escapees yesterday.
“We’re thankful that there were treated properly and were not hurt during their captivity,” the president’s special assistant said.
Go reiterated President Duterte’s appeal to NPA members: avail of the government program for rebel surrenderers.
Parreno and Sagayno were thankful that they escaped from their abductors who apparently rattled due to the continuous military operations against the rebels.
The two were abducted by the rebels in Mati City, Davao Oriental on June 10, 2018.
Both were traveling from the poblacion of Mati to their patrol base in Barangay Taguibo after sending allowance to their respective family when they passed by a roadblock established by rebels who were posing as government soldiers in Crossing Pising, Purok Dalia, Barangay Buso.
Sagayno, a militiaman assigned at the 72nd Infantry Battalion, was the first to escape on July 6. Parreno, a member of Alpha Company of the 28th IB, escaped on Friday.
Sagayno said he escaped when his abductors were engaged in a gunfight against pursuing troopers of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Scout Ranger.
“No one was guarding as they scattered for safety,” said Sagyano who spent 27 days in the hands of the NPA rebels.
Parreno, who escaped after 62 days in captivity, said he carefully planned his escape for days.
After weeks of planning, he finally outsmarted his two custodians.
Parreno said he put his malong on his bag to dupe his guardian that he was just sleeping.
“Then I crawled more or less 100 meters, down the cliff,” Parreno said.”I was able to run 500 meters away before the NPA chased me. It was raining.
He said he intentionally fell to the cliff to hide from the pursuing rebels. He hid in the grassy portion.
He said the rebels gave up chasing him after noticing that soldiers were already in the area.
That morning, Parreno said he immediately looked for the government troopers. However, the troopers were no longer around.
He sought help from the local residents who helped him to ride a motorcycle in going to Manay, Davao Oriental.
In the press briefing yesterday, Go said they negotiated with the NPA for the release of Parreno and Sagayno when he had a talk with the rebels during the release of a police officer in North Cotabato last month.
Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., commander of the Armed Forces of Philippines’ Eastern Mindanao Command, said his soldiers continue to conduct the combat operations against the abductors.
“We are encouraging the (NPA) members to surrender,” said Madrigal citing Parreno’s revelation that they were having difficulties with their food supply.
Brig. Gen. Reuben Basiao, the commander of 701st Infantry Brigade, said they are preparing to file kidnapping charges against members of the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Command 8 and Section Committee 18.
Basiao said the escapee soldiers will be debriefed before returning to their units.