Two farmers of Sitio Aniya, Brgy. Winaswasan, Calatrava town, yesterday claimed they were abducted by persons wearing fatigue uniforms who are members of the 62nd Infantry Battalion at about 3 p.m. Monday.
Joel Danioso, who works as barangay tanod and a farmer, said that he was with Fausto Uyanib, also a barangay tanod when the abduction happened.
Danioso said they were feeding their goats and cows when several armed men in fatigues approached and handcuffed them, covered their faces with a t-shirt and a plastic bag, and brought them to the forest.
They were abducted because they were suspected to be members of the New People’s Army, which they denied, Danioso said. They were released immediately because their neighbors witnessed the incident and reported it to the police, he added.
He also said that they were asked to sign a document, but did not know what was written on it.
Bernardino Patigas, secretary general of Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights, also said that Antonio Damalirio, Bienvenido and Hernani Pacatang, who were captured after an encounter Tuesday in the mountains of Escalante City and Toboso, Negros Occidental, are not rebels but members of Kilusang Mangbubukid ng Pilipinas.
In the afternoon of the encounter, three other persons were arrested in Brgy. Malig-on, Toboso who were suspected members of the NPA. Patigas identified them as Evelyn Tapang, Jocelyn Villarosa, and Alfredo Favillar.
Patigas claimed that he is sure that it was the members of the 62nd IB who abducted the victims.
Lt. Col. Eduardo Gubat, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, however challenged them to go to their base camp in Brgy. Bato, Sagay City, to describe and identify their abductors if they were really from his troops.
Gubat said there is no way his men would commit human rights violations. *LTG