Philippine rebels release more hostages: Military

Philippine communist rebels freed a town mayor and his two military escorts after more than two months in captivity.

Manila: Philippine communist rebels on Wednesday
freed a town mayor and his two military escorts after more
than two months in captivity, a day after they also released
four jail guards, the military said.

Members of the New People`s Army (NPA) freed mayor Henry
Dano and army soldiers Alan Saban and Alrey Desamaparado in a
remote mountain area on the insurgency-wracked southern
Mindanao Island, the military said.

It did not release information on the medical condition of
the three, but said they had been reunited with their

"The detention of Mayor Henry Dano... as an accused under
the custody of the revolutionary people`s democratic
government and not as a prisoner of war ends today," the
rebels said in a statement after his release.

About 30 heavily armed NPA guerrillas seized the three men
at Dano`s home on August 6, accusing the official of
committing large-scale human rights violations as mayor of
Mindanao`s Lingig town.

Dano`s release came two weeks after his captors released a
video clip of him purportedly apologising for alleged human
rights violations.

The NPA said Dano was tried under its "people`s court"
which then decided to "archive" his case, leading to his

It added that the two army officers were to have been
executed but were given a second chance after admitting their
offence and promising never again to join government
counter-insurgency operations.

Yesterday, the rebels freed four jail guards who were
kidnapped in a separate incident on Mindanao Island two months

The four were turned over to the International Committee
of the Red Cross for "humanitarian reasons", the NPA said.
The NPA is the armed unit of the Communist Party of the
Philippines, which has been waging a Maoist revolution since

It has about 5,000 fighters scattered mostly in the
country`s impoverished countryside, where they have engaged in
kidnappings and extortion, authorities said.

Last week, the rebels attacked three mine sites in
Mindanao, destroying equipment and forcing the government to
deploy additional troops to protect vulnerable targets.


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