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    Posted February 21, 2013 by

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    Maoist rebels release POWs in South Philippines


    Maoist rebels release POWs in South Philippines

    By Ben O. Tesiorna


    Thirty-four days after being abducted by the New People's Army rebels in the typhoon-battered town of Laak, Compostela Valley, a policeman and an Army soldier were released and turned over by the rebels to Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, February 21.


    Army Private First Class Jezreel Culango of the 60th Infantry Battalion and Police Officer 1 Ruel Pia Pasion were released in an undisclosed place in the same town around one in the afternoon.


    The two were abducted in a rebel checkpoint last January 17, 2013.


    Duterte personally flew in the area around three in the afternoon to fetch the two prisoners-of-war. The two flew back with Duterte onboard his personal chopper and landed at the Police Regional Office 11 at Camp Catitipan in Buhangin, Davao City.


    Showing symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome, the two POWs expressed gratitude to the NPA for taking good care of them.


    “We were like brothers and they were monitoring our health. They never allowed us to be mistreated and they provided for us,” the two were quoted as saying.


    According to Wikipedia, "Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness."


    While in captivity, Pasion's sister died. He said he will visit the grave of his sister upon going home. Culango was meanwhile set to marry his fiance before his abduction. He said he will have to plan again their wedding date.


    In a released statement, Army Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said that the release of the kidnapped victims should have been done long time ago.


    “In fact, they should not have been abducted because they are plain non-combatants when notorious New People’s Army abducted them at the checkpoint. And under the GPH-NDFP CARHRIHL agreement non-combatants and civilians are not to be hurt and held captive," he said.


    “The release of these kidnapped victims noticeably was timed also after the attack of DOLE Philippines and Del Monte Philippines Incorporated who provide employment to thousands of our countrymen who religiously pay taxes so that more infrastructure and services will be provided by the government.  Another anti-people and anti development atrocity violastive again of  the agreed upon Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), specifically, Part 4, Article 4, Paragraph 4, that civilian entities should be protected and shall be distinguished from combatants provision which they continue to defy and grossly ignore and deliberately violate," Paniza continued.


    They are also thankful to the effort of the third party especially Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who facilitated the release of the two. BOT

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