4 suspected NPA members freed

Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews
Tuesday, 11 November 2008 06:48
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st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/10 Nov) The Army released over the weekend four suspected rebels whom they reportedly arrested and detained in a camp in Tulunan, North Cotabato.

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“The villagers were turned over without any trace that they underwent torture or physical harm while they were under the custody of my men in Tulunan,“ Col. Milfredo Meligrito, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion, said in a radio interview.

Meligrito also denied reports his men abducted the villagers.

“They were not forcibly taken by my men. They offered themselves to join the soldiers as they exited the area on Nov 3. What can we get if we kidnap or abduct them?  Nothing,” he said.

He alleged Bacung residents were recruited into the NPA. “In fact, they were scheduled to undergo training last Saturday. They decided, however, to withdraw.”

The official issued the statement almost a week after a local radio station and newspapers came out with news on the reported abduction.

Earlier, 57th IB executive officer Maj. Leo Diaz vehemently denied they were keeping in their custody the four suspected NPA members.

But a village councilor in Barangay Bacung, Tulunan told reporters here that she was certain the four had been detained in an Army camp in Tulunan since Nov 3.

The suspects, identified as Reyno Odi, Albert Imba, and Moca brothers Alex, 18, and Richard, 15, were turned over last Saturday to Barangay Bacung chair Rogelio Gante. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)

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