“I surrendered not kidnapped”, says PO3 Sabatin

by Ben Serrano

      February 19, 2011


            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - With the news that he will be release today, PO3 George Sabatin in a live radio interview this morning claimed he surrendered not kidnapped as reported by police and military authorities.


            Sabatin claimed that when the NPA rebels attacked the DENR-LGU forest product in Pulang Lupa, Trento, Agusan del Sur morning of February 1, 2011 at about 6 a.m. that killed two civilians and wounding two cops, he was able to hide inside the checkpoint wounded.


            “At that time when I saw I was alone inside wounded, the NPA rebels shouted that I must surrender and so I surrendered” Sabatin claimed.


            In a live interview over Radio Mindanao Network’s local radio station DXBC, Sabatin told radio reporters that he is healthy and well and even thanked his NPA captors that he was taken cared of despite fear at first that he might be harm in the hands of the enemy.


            Sabatin who was interviewed live on air from the NPA lair where he was kept prisoner of war (POW) added that he thought NPA rebels will harm him because of the rumors, “but they were all good to me”, Sabatin said.


            Sabatin said that last Valentine’s Day he was able to call and greeted his wife Jonah, 25, and their four children, all ages one year old to five years old.


            Sabatin cried on air when his family was mentioned in the live interview.


            Apart from his wife and children where he assured he is just okay in the hands of the New People’s Army, Sabatin assured his farmer parents based in Trento, Agusan del Sur both already in their 60’s that he is well and alive.


            Earlier, Sabatin’s wife Jonah issued appeal to her husband’s captors for the cop’s safe release.


            Caraga PNP regional director Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal for his part told PNA that the mutli-sectoral Crisis Management Council which is negotiating safe release of PO3 Sabatin informed him that Sabatin might be release anytime today.


            “ He might be release today somewhere in Trento” Rafal added.


            Police and military official reports claimed an estimated 50 NPA rebels belonging to Guerilla Front (GF) 20 attacked the monitoring post of the Task Force Bantay Kalikasan of the Agusan del Sur Provincial Governor’s Office at Pulang Lupa, Trento, Agusan del Sur around 6:00 AM, February 1, 2011 on board an Isuzu forward six-wheeler truck color blue bearing plate number CDW 445, owned by Lolito Guyano.      


            The report also claimed that one team from Agusan del Sur Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) were on the area providing to government personnel monitoring water level of the Agusan River as part of Disaster monitoring when they were attacked.


            The report added that Police Officer 3 (PO3) Mario Sevillano was wounded and Police Officer 3 (PO3) George Sabatin was abducted while two (2) civilians namely Pletzmark Dimzon and alias “Lito”, both members of the said Task Force were killed.


            Said official PNP and AFP reports also claimed, two M16 rifles were taken by the communist terrorists as they withdrew towards Barangay Visayas of the said municipality on board another vehicle, Isuzu forward color red bearing plate number YAZ 846, owned by Bartolome Navalta, of legal age and a resident of P-4, Pulang Lupa, Trento, Agusan del Sur.


            But the report did not said if the private owners of the vehicles used in the NPA attack were being investigated, charged or not. (PNA/Ben Serrano)

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