CAMP PANACAN, Davao City – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday turned over to the military two soldiers who were captured and declared prisoners of war (POWs) by the New People’s Army (NPA) last Sept. 30 in Monkayo town, Compostela Valley.
The mayor presented to the top officials of Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) and 10th Infantry (Agila) Division on Tuesday afternoon Privates First Class Niño Alavaro and Marjon Añover, both members of 25th Infantry Battalion.
In a ceremony held in the hinterlands of Laak town, Compostela Valley on Tuesday, the Comval North Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command released to Duterte on Tuesday the two captured soldiers.
The release order of the two soldiers was read by Rubi del Mundo, representative of the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Southern Mindanao Region (SMR).
Del Mundo said that the release of the two captured soldiers is in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Protocol 2.
Both Añover and Alavaro have also showed repentance and pledged not to commit again crimes against the people and the revolutionary forces, Del Mundo added.
Duterte personally witnessed the signing of the release order of the two soldiers together with the representative of the Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP), a religious group that help facilitate the negotiations between the families of the soldiers and their captors.
After their release and medical check-up, the two soldiers will undergo months of debriefing and other processes, according to Captain Rhyan Batchar, chief information officer of 10th ID.
Results of their debriefing will be assessed by the higher authorities of the command to determine if the two soldiers are fit to return to their duties and responsibilities in the armed forces.
Batchar said Añover and Alavaro were abducted by NPA rebels headed by Zaldy Cañete alias Commander Jinggoy and were held in the hinterlands of Compostela Valley province for more than a month.
Eastmincom commander Lt. General Aurelio Baladad said there were no conditions set during the release of the soldiers.
Baladad assured that the two soldiers will be able to come back to the service after the standard processes that they will undergo. (ALEXANDER D. LOPEZ)