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Efforts ongoing for soldier’s safe release

BUTUAN CITY – The safe release of abducted Army soldier Technical Sergeant Joseph Paredes in Bukidnon is now being worked out by a third party facilitator after the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is said to be considering the release of the soldier in time for the fifth round of the peace talks.

The NDFP has appealed to church leaders who are acting as third party facilitators to intervene in the eventual freedom of Paredes.

However, the custodial force of the NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) through the NDFP asked the field military and the Philippine National Police commanders to stop their respective tactical operations within the region as one of its demands.

Iglesia Filipina Independiente Bishop Felixberto Calang, co-convenor of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform and one of the third party facilitators said they will coordinate with Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. and members of the provincial crisis management committee in that same province for the release of Paredes.

Paredes, a member of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battallion was chanced upon by a rebel-manned checkpoint near Juanilla Subdivision in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon province, where the rebels conducted a raid at an office of a security agency there last May 5. (Mike U. Crismundo)

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