Communist rebels free 4 captives in Surigao

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 27 2016 06:49 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2016 02:00 AM

Communist rebels free 4 captives in Surigao 1
Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

SURIGAO CITY - The communist New People's Army (NPA) released four captives on Saturday, one day after the government and the insurgents declared an indefinite ceasefire to fast-track peace negotiations.

Police officers Caleb Sinaca, Jayroll Bagayas and Santiago Lamarilao and a police civilian employee, Rodrigo Angob, were freed in Mat-I village two months after they were seized from a cockpit arena.

The rebels had accused Sinaca of involvement in illegal drugs, illegal logging, extortion, and harassment of peasants who work for his village chairman-father.

The three others were held captive since they were with Sinaca when the rebels came for him.

Communist rebels free 4 captives in Surigao 2
Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

The rebels said they would continue to monitor the group even after their release.

At the end of meetings in Oslo on Friday, negotiators for the Philippine government and the rebels have set a 12-month timetable for negotiations aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies.