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NPA releases kidnapped cop

BUTUAN CITY – A policeman who was abducted by the New People’s Army more than two months ago in Bukidnon was released by the rebels Thursday in Talakan town of the same province.

The NPA custodial force belonging to the Mt. Kitanglad-South Regional Operational Command presented Police Officer 2 Antony P. Natividad to the public during a brief program held at the barangay’s covered court just beside the national highway in Barangay Dominorog.

Natividad was captured by the NPA rebels last February 9 as policemen were setting up a roadblock in Barangay Tikalaan, in Talakag, Bukidnon.

The release of Natividad was witnessed by local government unit officials in the municipalities of Pangantucan and Kalilangan as well as Cagayan de Oro and religious leaders led by Bishop Felixberto Calang.

From there Natividad was immediately brought to Kalilangan Municipal Police Station for debriefing and will then be sent to the provincial command of Police Provincial Office in Bukidnon before he gets his chance to meet his relatives.

Meanwhile, another NPA captive, Private First Class Erwin R. Salan of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battallion (30th IB) is also set to be released anytime by the rebels.

The family of the abducted soldier was happy as well as Lt. Col. Rico Amaro, commanding officer of the 30th IB when they learned about Salan’s imminent release.

Salan was abducted by some 15 armed NPAs while conducting forest clean up drive together with youth volunteers within the vicinity of Lumondo Falls, in Barangay Budlingin, Alegria, Surigao del Norte last January 29.

Ka Oto, spokesperson of the guerilla-Front Committee 16 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee said they will releaseSalan anytime.

The Front 16 Committee spokesman said their tactical operations against government forces have been halted since last Tuesday noon until midnight of May 5 in the municipalities of Placer, Tubod, Bacuag, Alegria, Gigaquit and Claver, all in Surigao del Norte to pave the way for the safe release of PFC. Salan. (MIKE U. CRISMUNDO)