23rd Infantry (MASIGASIG) Battalion
4th Infantry (DIAMOND) Division Philippine Army
Purok-9, Brgy. Rizal, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte
14 April 2016
PRESS RELEASE (For immediate release)
Contact: 1LT EDGAR LEMUEL L ADAJAR JR (INF) PA
Civil Military Operation Officer, 23IB CP#: 0998-973-7886
NPA used their captives for propaganda
Buenavista, Agusan del Norte – NPA rebels who kidnapped two soldiers of 23IB at Brgy Lower Olave last April 3, 2016 released a video clip recording using the captives for their propaganda in a video-streaming website on April 12.
The three-minute long video clip was uploaded at http://www.youtube.com with a title “POW Pfc Glenn Austria Pfc Devin Tawide” under the account name “ang kalihukan”. The video which has already 152 views shows the kidnapped soldiers with the flags of CPP and NPA as their background calling for help from the government and AFP for their immediate release.
PFC Devin Tawide and PFC Glenn Austria can be seen with their hands both tied while they were delivering their personal messages. PFC Tawide, who’s from Brgy. Zillovia, Talacogon, call on to Talacogon Mayor Jezryl Masendo for help and to the AFP for the Suspension of Military Operation (SOMO) for the safety of their movement for possible release. PFC Austria, also delivered his message for his family and call for help from his unit.
It can be recalled that the two were kidnapped during the roadblock established by the NPA in the area where they currently conducting peace and development programs to the people of Barangay Lower Olave and they were supposed to proceed to LGU of Buenavista for coordination of development projects in the said barangay.
“If they truly served the people, why did they kidnap our soldiers who were also serving the people of Lower Olave through our Bayanihan Activities? If they really fighting for the people, then release the two, so that they can continue our Bayanihan efforts and help Lower Olave to be developed. They just proved upon releasing the video clip that they were taking advantage in using their kidnap victims to deliver their personal and terroristic propaganda against the people,” LTC Lynart D Castisimo, Commanding Officer of 23IB said
Combat operations of 23IB are continuously conducted as of the moment to rescue the soldiers who are already in the 12th day of detention, while the Municipal Crisis Committee of Buenavista is negotiating with the concerned rebel group. “We will continue our mandate to protect the people of Agusan del Norte, especially that election is fast approaching, and we will assure the candidates that they are safe and secured here in our AOR,” LTC Castisimo added.