MANILA – An Army soldier took hostage a bus full of passengers bound for Manila on Friday afternoon.
Army Corporal Rene Prajele of the 31st Infantry Battalion was reportedly dealing with personal family matters. So in full Army gear and an M16 at hand, he left their camp in Sorsogon Friday morning and rode a Bobis Liner bus heading to Manila.
Somewhere along Maharlika Highway, between the towns of Libmanan and Pasacao in Camarines Norte, he alighted the Bobis Liner bus and transferred to a Peñafrancia Tour Bus also headed for Manila. He then proceeded to take this bus and its passengers as hostage that afternoon.
His Army Commander, upon learning of his sudden disappearance, alerted the authorities in the area. Members of the Army and PNP established a checkpoint at Barangay (Village) Comadaycaday in Del Gallego, Camarines Sur to intercept the bus and the armed soldier. Army Col. Amador Tabuga, Jr. Also joined the checkpoint to lead the hostage crisis team.
Col. Prajele, a native of Agdaan in Baao, Camarines Sur, surrendered at around 5:00 pm, explaining that he only wanted to reach Manila to go to the Army headquarters and speak with his Battalion Commander about some personal issues. He later told Bicol Police Chief Superintendent Victor Deona that he had no plans of hurting any of the passengers.