By Jeffrey M. Tupas
Mindanao Bureau, Inquirer.net
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — (UPDATE 2) The body of the daughter of a New People’s Army commander was fished out of a river in Carmen town in Davao del Sur early Thursday evening, some 24 hours after she was abducted by what her family suspect to be military agents.
Kelly Delgado, secretary general for Southern Mindanao of Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), said Rebelyn Pitao, 20, was found in Purok (sub-village) 5, San Isidro, Carmen around 6:30 p.m.
Daughter of New People's Army commander abducted
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 March) – The daughter of a commander of the New People’s Army was abducted at the corner of Oro Subdivision and Bago Galera at around 6 p.m. Wednesday while on board a motorcycle for home.
As of Thursday, the police still has no lead as to the motive behind the abduction of Rebelyn Pitao, 20, a teacher at the St. Peter’s College of Toril and daughter of Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, head of the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Command.
Senior Supt. Ramon Apolinario, director of the Davao City Police Office and head of the Task Force Rebelyn which the Davao Region Police Office set up to focus on the case, said they are looking into all aspects.
“As of now, we consider everyone a suspect. We have to establish still the motive and identity of the perpetrators,” he said.
He said two witnesses are cooperating with the police on the incident which was formally reported by the victim’s kin to the police through the Talomo Police Precinct at around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Apolinario said that based on initial investigation, Rebelyn was on her way home on board a tricycle when a white auxiliary utility vehicle with plate number LPG 588 blocked their way. The witnesses said two men got out of the vehicle, forcibly took Rebelyn in the car and sped off.
Apolinario said only the victim’s silver necklace and her brown shoes were recovered from the crime scene.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, he said, ordered him to bring Rebelyn to him as soon as possible.
At the Peace and Order Council meeting Thursday, Duterte said efforts to find Pitao in police or military custody yielded negative results.
Duterte said it is not a policy of the state to run after family members of enemies of the state as “it opens the floodgates to retaliation and consequently exposing family members of law enforcers and the soldiers to danger if they do it.”
Duterte expressed concern about the dire consequences if Pitao is not freed immediately.
Duterte assured Parago he will personally investigate the abduction of his daughter and work for her release.
Task Force Rebelyn is composed of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the police criminal laboratory and the Talomo Police Precinct.
Major General Reynaldo Mapagu, commanding officer of the 10th Infantry Division based in Panacan, has ordered a parallel investigation.
His predecessor, Maj. Gen. Jogy Leo Fojas, had told reporters in early December his troops were about to get Parago before the end of the year, claiming the rebel commander was “losing space" in the face of sustained military operations to capture him.
"(The capture of Kumander Parago) would be a nice Christmas gift to the Dabawenyos," he said.
Parago has eluded capture several times. (MindaNews)