Duterte obtains release of soldier hostaged by NPA PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 June 2015 09:04

By MANNY PIÑOL

Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte displayed his towering influence over warring groups in Mindanao when he succeeded to convince the New People’s Army (NPA) to release an army soldier held hostage by the Communist group for over a month now.

Private First Class Khen Subere, member of the 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, was released to Mayor Duterte in Kiamba town, Saranggani Saturday afternoon.

The Davao City Mayor flew by a small helicopter from Davao City to Kiamba town to receive Subere from his captors.

Duterte turned over Subere to officials of the Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City

Subere was abducted by the NPAs in April in Barangay Dumangas, T’boli, South Cotabato.

His family appealed for the suspension of military operations against the rebels so Subere could be released.

The army, however, rejected the request prompting Subere’s family to seek the help of Duterte who was also instrumental in the release of several government men abducted by the NPAs.

Earlier, the jail warden of Compostela Valley Province, Jaime Coquilla, who was abducted last year was released to Duterte in January.

This was followed by the release of three policemen who were abducted in Surigao del Norte in February this year.

Duterte is considered as one of the few Mindanao leaders who has established open communication lines with the communist rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front’s different factions.

The Davao City Mayor who himself was hostaged by the NPAs during the electoral campaign when he first ran for Mayor in 1988 has long advocated for a comprehensive talks with the different rebel groups in the country to put an end to the years of conflict.

“We cannot continue killing fellow Filipinos. We cannot pass on this conflict to the next generation of Filipinos,” he once said.