ONE of the six village candidates abducted by a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels last Thursday in a remote village in Agusan del Sur province was released early Friday morning, police reports said Saturday.
Maria Gina Bantuasan of Brgy. Sabud, Loreto town, was released Friday morning in an undisclosed area in the same village where NPA rebels abducted her and five other village candidates.
However, Brgy. Sabud Chairman Lito Andalique, Councilor Balaba Andalique, Marvin Bantuasan, Crisanto Piodos, and Pepe Subla are still with the rebels and were spotted at Sitio Mampait in Brgy. Sabud.
The rebels also relayed thru Gina Bernales, also a councilor, the demands for the resignation and deactivation of 50 newly graduate government militiamen and the total pullout of army in exchange for the captives’ safe release.
Members of the local Crisis Management Committee (CMC), however, have collectively agreed for the military to continue its pursuit operations against the rebels.
The reports added that several evacuees from Brgy. Sabud have gathered at Brgy. Kauswagan while relief operations for the immediate family of the victims were being readied by the CMC.
Meanwhile, the police are continuously conducting strong checkpoint operations at Brgy. Poblacion, Loreto to deter the movement of the rebels in the area.