From the Philippine News Agency (May 8): Offensive on vs NPA rebels holding soldier in Bukidnon
The military on Monday said it is conducting continuous pursuit operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels responsible in raiding a private security compound in Bukidnon last Friday evening, after which they abducted a soldier.
Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, 4th Infantry Division spokesperson here, said that Technical Sergeant Joseph Paredes, who is assigned at the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion, was unarmed and was on a rest and recreation mode when seized by the NPA rebels.
He said that Paredes was riding a motorcycle with his wife when flagged down by the communist rebels who put up a road blockade outside the compound of DASIA, a Davao-based security agency, in a subdivision in Valencia City, Bukidnon.
Martinez said the 4th ID has deployed a team of soldiers to go after the NPA rebels shortly after the incident.
The NPA rebels, clad in police uniforms, told motorists to stop because an operation “Tokhang” was in progress in a nearby area. “Tokhang” (knock and appeal), is a nationwide anti-illegal drug campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Martinez said that Paredes was identified by the insurgents through his identification card.
“The [rebels] immediately dragged him (Paredes) off his motorcycle and hurled him inside an armored vehicle. The soldier’s wife, who was shocked, was pushed down by the NPA to a muddy area,” Martinez said.
Major General Benjamin Madrigal, 4th ID commander, described the latest NPA action as another “blatant display of the insincerity of the communist rebels in achieving lasting peace in the country."
“We promise everyone that there will be no let up on our rescue operation to put pressure on the NPAs for them to immediately release our soldier," he said.