A convoy of vehicles bearing military personnel in civilian clothes was flagged down by suspected NPA rebels in a remote village in Zamboanga del Sur early morning yesterday, Dec 3.
Led by Major Ramon Torres of the 102nd Brigade, the convoy of civilian vehicles carried 6 military personnel in civilian outfit for a coordinating conference in Balabag village, Bayog town.
While traversing an unpopulated part of Guinoman village of the same town, they were stopped by more or less 70 heavily armed men wearing military uniform in Sitio Mahayahay (sub village) at around 7:30am.
Sensing that the armed men were not soldiers, Torres hurriedly escaped by jumping towards a ravine where he was chased by some of the rebels.
The five others were apprehended and were stripped of their belongings and firearms.
Since they were in civilian clothes, their identities were not known by the rebels who mistook them as security personnel of the TVI mining company.
The rebels burned down the TVI company-owned Strada pick up which was used by the soldiers. The rebels released the soldiers unharmed before fleeing towards the direction of Diplahan town.
The soldiers made their way towards a military detachment in Guinoman village where they requested for troop reinforcements.
An Air force chopper joined the massive search and rescue mission to locate Torres the whole day.
At around 7:45pm (Sat), Torres surfaced in the military detachment to the delight of his comrades.
He said that he eluded his pursuers and escaped unharmed. He waited for darkness before proceeding towards the military camp.
The 102nd Brigade has continuously pursued the rebels along their withdrawal route today, December 4.
Civilian tipsters are providing information regarding the movement of the rebels.