Agusan mayor, son found dead after abduction by suspected NPA rebels
Louis Bacani (Philstar.com) - October 19, 2015 - 10:18pm

MANILA, Philippines - Mayor Dario Otaza of Loreto, Agusan del Sur and his son were found dead on Tuesday morning after they were kidnapped by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA).

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said authorities found at around 7 a.m. the bodies of Otaza and his son Daryl hogtied with multiple gunshot wounds in the vicinity of Purok 2, Barangay Bitan-agan, Butuan City.

At around 6:50 p.m. on Monday, the two were abducted from their home in Barangay Baan, Butuan City by armed men believed to be NPA members.

Coloma condemned the incident and assured that the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces will bring the perpetrators to justice.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this cowardly act. We hope that Mayor Otaza's death unites the people of Agusan del Sur, the Manobos and the entire Lumad community, and every decent Filipino in working sincerely towards lasting, meaningful peace," he said in a note to reporters.

Coloma said Otaza was a Manobo, a Lumad and a former NPA rebel himself who has been an "invaluable partner for peace" in the region following his surrender.

"His programs to ensure that former rebels have the means to lead dignified lives as part of mainstream society have encouraged many insurgents to lay down their arms. Observers have lauded the success of these programs," Coloma said.

Undersecretary Manny Bautista of the Cabinet security cluster said Otaza was a local partner of the national government's Serbisyo Caravan.

Bautista said 154 NPA rebels surrendered after the Serbisyo Caravan in which Loreto took part.

"Several NPA rebels who enjoy kinship with Mayor Otaza through the IP (indigenous people) network have indicated a desire to reenter formal society because of the Mayor’s integrity, credibility, and the success of his programs," the former Armed Forces chief of staff said in a statement sent to Palace reporters on Monday night.

AGUSAN ARMED FORCES BARANGAY BAAN BARANGAY BITAN BUTUAN CITY COLOMA COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR. MAYOR OTAZA OTAZA QUOT SERBISYO CARAVAN
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