By DPAO, 8ID PA
May 29, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – Three peacebuilders were abducted by Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Brgy. Canvais, Motiong, Samar about 4:30AM, May 27, 2020.
The CNTs abducted Cosme Cabangunay and his two sons Jevie and Jason; all former rebels who surrendered to the authorities and were embracing and working for peace as members of Motiong Peacebuilders, an organization of former rebels who are working for peace and development.
According to barangay officials headed by Brgy Chairperson Vilma Gabane who reported the incident to the authorities, about five bonnet-clad suspects armed with long firearms barged inside the victims’ house and forcibly took them at gunpoint.
The victims' family and the whole community are appealing for the safe release of the trio.
“They have been living in peace and just wanted to have normal lives away from violence. We will hold them (NPA) responsible if our relatives will be harmed”, one of the kins said in vernacular.
Lieutenant Colonel Reynaldo B. Balido Jr., Battalion Commander of 87th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, condemned the abduction as it is a heinous crime and is against the International Humanitarian Law. "We vehemently condemn this barbaric act of the NPA terrorists. They have victimized non-combatants. They abducted people who are working for peace in the locality", Balido said.
Colonel Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of the 801st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army demanded the unconditional and safe release of the victims.
"It is with deep regret that the NPA terrorists have once again showed their evil ways by oppressing the ordinary people who want to live in peace. We assure the relatives that our soldiers will do everything necessary to pursue the perpetrators and bring them to justice”, Ligayo remarked.
"To the CNTs, the people of Motiong demand that you release the victims unharmed. You can embrace peace with us or face the fury and condemnation of the community as the government forces will relentlessly pursue you", Ligayo stated.
It is high time to challenge the self-declared human rights groups Karapatan, Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas and other left leaning organizations to strongly condemn the abduction of the three peacebuilders being human rights advocates, a concluding statement by Ligayo.