Army maintains rescue claim on two pregnant NPA leaders

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – “Walang katotohanan.”

This was the reaction of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aquino, commander of the Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion (IB), against the statement of the New People’s Army (NPA) on the “unlawful capture” of two pregnant young women, who were alleged high-ranking officials of the NPA.

The Rachelle Mae Palang Command  (RMPC)-NPA, earlier claimed that government forces “arrested” Ka Aubrey and Ka Sarah at Sitio Katubahan, Barangay Tayak, Siaton, Negros Oriental early this week.

But, Aquino maintained that these two were rescued when they received information from concerned citizens about their situation in a house where they were reportedly abandoned by their comrades.

“Matagal na nilang gusto bumaba. Kaya ni work out namin. Iniwan sila sa masa kung saan sila na rescue,” Aquino said, adding that these two allegedly stayed there in a house for two to three months.

Currently, they are under the custody of the 11th IB, wherein their medical condition is being monitored, he said.

Aquino said the families of the two pregnant women were already informed that these two are now under the custody of the Army.

The Army earlier said that the two pregnant women were allegedly part of the dismantled Southeast Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (SEF, KR-NCBS).

“Sarah,” 23, was an alleged member of Squad 3 and Taxation Team, while “Aubre,” 28, was an alleged Educational and Finance staff and Assistant Political Officer, the Army said.

The NPA also slammed the Army for the “fake surrender” of two NPA rebels in Sta. Catalina town.

Aquino said that it was only NPA propaganda which aims to destroy the image and sacrifices of the Army.

“Hindi na bago sa amin (NPA statement) iyan. Gumagawa sila ng paraan to discredit our efforts,” he added.