MANILA – New People's Army (NPA) rebels on Wednesday released a soldier they held captive for 19 days in Compostela Valley.
Captain Ernest Carolina, spokesperson of the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division, said Sergeant Jeric Bucio Curay was released in Barangay Casoon, Monkayo town.
Curay, who belongs to the Army's 72nd Infantry Battalion, was unarmed when he was captured by the NPA guerrillas last April 4 in Barangay Andap in Laak town.
The military said this act by the NPA was a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Humanitarian Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
'Ka Aris' Francisco, spokesperson of the NPA's Comval-North Davao-South Agusan Subregional Command, said Curay was captured as part of the NPA's ''renewed campaign against Armed Forces of the Philippines units responsible for protecting big logging firms which have wiped out the forests of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Agusan del Sur provinces."
''Wanton destruction of remaining forest cover and unchecked commercial logging in these areas have greatly impoverished Lumads and peasants, and have made them more vulnerable to environmental disasters and climate change,'' Francisco said.
The military said Curay will be given stress debriefing. – with a report from Jon Ibañez, dzMM