Heartbreak led to hostage in Cam Sur

DEL GALLEGO, Camarines Sur—Investigators are considering love problems as the root of the hostage-taking incident that involved a soldier of the Philippine Army and passengers of a Peñafrancia Tours bus this afternoon.

The suspect, identified as Corporal Rene Prajele, 36 years old, and a member of the 31st Infantry Batallion in Sorsogon, was said to have been suffering from emotional stress after finding out that his lover was allegedly romantically involved with another soldier.

Earlier today, Prajele with his M16 rifle and full military uniform, took as hostage around 55 passengers of the bus with plate number TYZ 380 somewhere along Andaya Highway at Barangay Comadaycaday here.

According to the police, most of the passengers were students returning to Manila for the opening of classes.

After hours of negotiation with a crisis management team composed of Mayor Ricky Aquino of Ragay, Mayor Lydia Abarientos of Del Gallego, Colonel Amador Tabuga of the 902nd Infantry Brigade, and Commander Lieutenant Colonel Medel Aguilar of the 49th Infantry Battalion, Prajele surrendered.

No one was injured due to the incident, the police said.

The incident, however, caused heavy traffic along Maharlika Highway, as the police closed the road as they tried to pacify Prajele.

As of 7 p.m., Prajele has been taken to the Del Gallego Municipal Police Station for the filing of appropriate charges.

He will be brought to Camp Elias Angeles Hospital for assessment of his mental capability, the Police Regional Office 5 announced.

The Philippine National Police, it added, will determine whether Prajele will be detained or turned over to the 9th Infantry Division for custody.—With report from Jener Villarez, BICOLSTANDARD.COM