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Kidnapped leftist rebel's daughter found dead in Philippines
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10:45, March 06, 2009

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An abducted daughter of a ranking leftist rebel commander was found dead in south Philippines on Thursday night, a military official and non-government organization (NGO) said Friday.

Regional military spokesperson Major Randolph Cabangbang said the victim, Robelyn Pitao, 21, a private teacher by profession and daughter of Leonardo Pitao, known as Commander Parago of the rebel New People's Army (NPA), died of three stab wounds in her chest.

"We are doing an investigation. The number one suspects in our list are the military. We will not tolerate if indeed our troops are involved," he said.

Kelly Delgado, secretary general of a local human rights group, said Pitao's body was fished out of a river by residents in the township of Carmen town in Davao del Sur Province.

Pitao was forcibly taken by armed men on a white Toyota Revo vehicle Wednesday afternoon along Talomo highway in the southern city of Davao.

Earlier, a local radio quoting the victim's mother Evangeline as reporting that she suspected that government soldiers were behind the abduction.

The incident happened as some NPA rebels have confirmed they are holding three policemen as "prisoners of war" after an ambush by armed guerrillas in the province of Quezon.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It has been waging a guerrilla war against the government in the countryside nearly 40 years.

The 5,400-strong NPA has been waging a guerrilla war against the government since its founding in late 1960s. It halted peace talks with the government in 2003, irritated by the administration's inaction to remove it from the U.S. government's list of international terrorist organizations.


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