MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Three employees of a mining firm, including the firm owner’s son, were abducted by rebel soldiers of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Rosario, Agusan del Sur, a military official said on Thursday.
According to Maj. Eugenio Julio Osias IV, commander of the 4th Civil Military Operations Battalion, 30 fully-armed rebels ransacked the VTO mining headquarters in Ridge Mountain in Purok Onse, Bayugan Tres at around 5 a.m. Thursday.
The rebels, led by a certain Renato Sayasat alias “Friday,” barged into the office and abducted operations manager Christopher Ocite, asst. operations manager Gani Altaya and security guard Joel Jayuma.
Ocite is the son of VTO’s owner Engr. Vivencio Ocite.
Authorities said the rebels pretended to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and quickly disarmed the security guards on duty.
The suspects seized 5 shotguns and 9 caliber .45 firearms from the guards.
They then escaped with the employees using Ocite’s vehicle.
Meanwhile, Col. Romeo Gan, commander of the 401st Brigade, said they are coordinating with local officials to secure the area.
Gan said they are currently waiting orders from the local crisis committee on negotiations for the immediate release of the captives. -- With a report from Richmond Hinayon, ABS-CBN News Caraga