NPAs free two captive soldiers

Members of the New People’s Army guard their “prisoners of war,” Pfc Samuel Garay (2nd from L) and Sgt Solaiman Calocop (3rd from L) of the 39th Infantry Battalion before the two soldiers were released to government officials and peace advocates in the hinterlands of Matanao, Davao del Sur on April 19, 2017. Garay and Calocop were captured by the NPA on February 2, 2017 in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat while they were on their way to Makilala, North Cotabato. MindaNews photo by Manman Dejeto
Members of the New People’s Army guard their “prisoners of war,” Pfc Samuel Garay (2nd from L) and Sgt Solaiman Calocop (3rd from L) of the 39th Infantry Battalion before the two soldiers were released to government officials and peace advocates in the hinterlands of Matanao, Davao del Sur on April 19, 2017. Garay and Calocop were captured by the NPA on February 2, 2017 in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat while they were on their way to Makilala, North Cotabato. MindaNews photo by Manman Dejeto

Two soldiers belonging to 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army captured by communists New People’s Army in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat in February this year were released from captivity on Wednesday, April 19.

Sgt. Solaiman Calucop and PFC Samuel Garay were freed by their captors in an undisclosed village in Matanao, Davao del Sur.

The release of the soldiers was facilitated by the local crisis committee of Columbio town together with peace advocacy group “Sowing the Seeds of Peace” and the provincial government of Davao del Sur.

Report reaching EDGE Davao said present during the release were Columbio town Vice Mayor Edwin Bermudez, Davao del Sur Provincial Administrator Mark Cagas and Bishop Redeemer Yanez of the peace advocacy group.

Reports also said that the released soldiers were already reunited with their families.

The two will be turned over to their mother unit, the 39th IB today, April 19, the report added.

The 10th Infantry (Agila) Division last week criticized the NPA for their failure to release the soldiers they abducted in Mindanao.

The 10th ID said these soldiers were forcibly taken at the height of the unilateral ceasefire.