From InterAksyon (Jul 31): NPA frees 5 soldiers in Mindanao
The New People's Army (NPA) on Wednesday afternoon freed five Philippine Army soldiers at an undisclosed area within the Paquibato District in Davao City.
The soldiers were captured by the NPA on June 17 in a checkpoint mounted by communist guerillas in the district's Bangkaan area.
The soldiers were released to Mayor Rodrigo Dureterte and peace advocates from the non-government group Exodus for Justice and Peace.
Duterte brought the soldiers to the headquarters of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).
Eastmincom spokesman Navy Capt. Severino David confirmed that the Army were already in custody of Cpl. Emmanuel Quezon, Pfc. Vernie Padilla, Pvt. Marteniano Pasigas, Pfc. Ronald Gura, and Pfc. Donato Estandian, all members of the 10th Infantry Division.
The released soldiers arrived with Duterte at the Eastmincom parade ground on board a helicopter, according to David.
Recently, many soldiers implementing the government’s counter-insurgency campaign “Oplan Bayanihan” in the Davao Region’s hinterlands had been captured by communist guerrillas but were later on released on humanitarian grounds.