Good start for the New Year: NPA releases captured soldier to Duterte

Photo Credit: Rappler
  • Communist insurgents hand over POW to Davao City mayor
  • Soldier had been in captivity for 102 days
  • Military blasts NPA for abduction, hopes they can talk peace soon though

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – It’s going to be a happy New Year for this soldier and his family after all.

102 days after he was captured by New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents, Corporal Adriano Bingil in Agusan del Sur, a member of the Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion, was turned over to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on New Year’s Eve in Brgy. Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.

Leaders who accompanied Duterte were San Luis Mayor Ronaldo Corvera of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun, and Iglesia Filipina Independiente Bishop Felixberto Calang.

After receiving Bingil, Duterte — who acted as the intermediary between NPA and government officials — then flew the soldier by helicopter to the military headquarters in Bancasi, Butuan City. He was later temporarily admitted in Cagayan de Oro City’s Camp Evangelista Station Hospital where he was reported to be in good condition apart from suffering “anxiety and physical and mental fatigue.”

He was welcomed by his wife Jenny along with their two children.

“I’m happy we will be a family as we welcome the New Year,” she said.

According to a ranking NPA official known only as “Commander Joker,” Bingil’s release was done on “humanitarian grounds in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to International Humanitarian Laws.”

Brigadier General Paul Atal, 4th Infantry Dvision’s acting commander, condemned Bingil’s abduction and subsequent captivity however.

“What the NPA did is plain kidnapping and it is a crime punishable by law,” Rappler quoted him as saying. “Nevertheless, we appreciate the gesture of them returning our soldier, hoping that they are projecting a renewed faith in peace, and aspiring to resume the peace talks with the government through the NDF.”