Soldiers captured by NPA now worry over losing their job

May. 12, 2008

After their release from NPA captivity where they were investigated for possible crime against the people, two AFP soldiers now face another investigation from their AFP superiors.

Compostela, Compostela Valley — Two army sergeants held prisoners of war (POWS) by the New People’s Army (NPA) for two weeks said they were uncertain of their future after their release.

Sgt. Huberto Corbita, 47, of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) K9 unit and Sgt. Napoleon Gerasmio, 41, of the Army Reserve Command, expressed doubt they’d be taken back to work by the AFP after two weeks of captivity by the NPA.

Lt. Col. Bienvenido Datuin, commanding officer of the 28th Infantry Battalion, said the two soldiers will have to undergo a thorough military investigation after two weeks in the rebels’ custody. “The decision to either let Gerasmio and Corbita resume work or not will be decided by the concerned headquarters,” he said.

He assured, though, that whatever happens, the AFP will take into consideration the service rendered by the soldiers in deciding whether or not to let them stay with the Armed Forces.

The two sergeants were separately arrested in a checkpoint mounted by the NPA at Sitio Mabatas, Upper Ulip in Monkayo town on April 24. They were released through the NPA’s custodial unit, the 5th Pulang Bagani Company (5th PBC), in barangay (village) Ngan of Compostela, Compostela Valley Province some four hours away from Davao City on Tuesday, May 6.

CHECK-UP. Dr. Daniel Lu, vice-mayor of Sto. Tomas, examines the prisoners of war Sgt. Napoleon Gerasmio and Sgt. Huberto Corbita during their release on Tuesday, May 6. Dr. Lu does not see any sign that the soldiers were maltreated. ( photos by Barry Ohaylan)

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