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Soldier in CamSur Bus Hostage-Taking Surrenders

The Philippine Army soldier who held hostage about 30 passengers of a Manila-bound Peñafrancia Tour bus along Maharlika Highway in Del Gallego, Camarines Sur, past noon Friday has surrendered.

Corporal Rene Prajele, 36, of the 31st Infantry Battalion based in Sorsogon, yielded to joint Army and police operatives at around 5 p.m., Chief Superintendent Victor Deona, Bicol regional police director said.

Deona said Prajele, a native of Baao, Camarines Sur, disclosed to the crisis management team that he merely wanted to discuss personal matters with his battalion commander.

None of Prajele’s hostages was harmed.

According to reports, Prajele was clad in full Army uniform and armed with his issued M16 rifle when he got on the Peñafrancia Tour bus bound for Manila from Naga City.

Prajele initially boarded a Bobis Liner bus bound for Manila from the Sorsogon City terminal but as the bus was negotiating the Maharlika Highway along the vicinity of Libmanan and Pasacao town in Camarine Sur, he alighted and transferred to the Peñafrancia bus.

The bus was blocked at a checkpoint of the Highway Patrol Group in Barangay Comadaycaday.

Negotiations between Prajele and the crisis management team led by the mayors of Ragay and Del Gallego, Colonel Amador Tabuga of the 902nd Infantry Brigade, PNP Del Gallego, and 49th Infantry Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Medel Aguilar ensued and it was found that Prajele is hounded by family problems.

The military has not disclosed what charges would be filed against Prajele.