Davao mayor asks NPA to release kidnapped pastor

Posted on August 16, 2014

DAVAO CITY -- Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, who is also chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council-Region 11, has appealed to the New People’s Army for the immediate and safe release of a 57-year-old female pastor of Foursquare Gospel Church in Compostela Valley.

"I am appealing to the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA to immediately release the pastora. You will not be able to get anything from her because she is just a pastor working for the people and incapable of espionage," Mr. Duterte said during Thursday’s council meeting.

Pastor Jemima C. Dima-ano, who is reportedly suffering from a couple of illnesses, was taken allegedly by NPA rebels near her home on August 7.

Lt. Col. Norman Zuniga of the 10th Civil Military Operations said they are clueless as to why Ms. Dima-ano, a civilian serving the community, was kidnapped.

Mr. Duterte said he had contacted the NPA and they had promised to release Ms. Dima-ano. She is reportedly being held by Maruz Matina, said to be the NPA’s unit commander in Mati, Davao Oriental.

The mayor has previously interceded for the release of policemen and soldiers kidnapped by the NPA within the Davao Region and was successful in most cases, including the release of Corporal Rogelio Rosales of the 60th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army last May. -- Carmencita A. Carillo