New People’s Army free 2 soldiers, 6 others in Davao
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2019 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA) released on Tuesday the last eight of their hostages in Barangay San Juan, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.

The hostages were among members of the Army and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) kidnapped by the NPA in December 2018 in Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat. 

Six of the CAFGUs were earlier released by the NPA through a third-party facilitator and were turned over to the Army’s 401st Brigade, on Feb. 14. 

Freed were Pfc. Darlino Carino Jr. and Cpl. Eric Manangan of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces and militiamen Jimuel Acebedo, Abel Iligan, Rolando Quiao, James Iligan, Gabriel Iligan and Janjan Iligan. 

Sebastian Duterte and former special assistant to the president Christopher Go witnessed the release.

Duterte and Go accompanied the eight to the 402nd Brigade in Bancasi, Butuan City, where they were reunited with the first batch of hostages released by the NPA’s. 

“For me, fighting is senseless. Let’s talk instead of fighting each other,” the President’s son said.

Go said he was part of the efforts to secure the release of the hostages. He said that a friend of Duterte, who is a relative of one of the hostages, sought their help.

Go said he coordinated with Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza and other officials to facilitate the release of the kidnap victims. 

“The release is based on the goodwill of the NPA. Perhaps they want to negotiate again with the government and President Duterte. The President is open to peace talks,” Go said in Filipino. – With Ben Serrano

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