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6-year-old helps end bus hostage crisis in Camarines Sur

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – A 6-year-old boy played a big role in helping convince his uncle, a troubled soldier, to surrender to authorities after holding hostage a Manila-bound passenger bus in Camarines Sur on Friday, May 29.

Authorities acknowledged the big contribution of the boy in ending the 4-hour crisis involving Army Corporal Rene Prajele, who took hostage 31 passengers of a Peñafrancia bus in Barangay Comadaycaday in Del Gallego town, Camarines Sur province on Friday. (READ: Soldier takes hostage bus passengers in Camarines Sur)

Army Captain Marjoree Panesa said that the boy talked to his uncle over the phone, urging him to surrender, as the Peñafrancia bus with mostly student passengers veered from Naga City to Manila. 

Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib, Bicol police regional spokesperson, said Prajele’s nephew "greatly helped" pacify his uncle, who was reportedly beset by family problems.

“We’re happy that the tension was resolved and Prajele’s 6-year-old nephew was there and greatly helped in the negotiation…aside from the composite efforts of the authorities,” Calubaquib said.

Prajele, a father of a toddler, looks after his nephew.

During the negotiations, Prajele also had a phone conversation with his godmother, the wife of Colonel Amador Tabuga Jr, commander of the Army’s 902nd Brigade based in Camarines Norte.

Tabuga, who is Prajele's godfather, is part of the Crisis Management Team created to handle the matter.

CRISIS AVERTED. Del Gallego Mayor Lydia Abarientos gets a positive update on the hostage-taking incident in her town on May 29, 2015.

Photo by Reden Devilla

After more than 4 hours of negotiations, Prajele finally surrendered to Tabuga, Del Gallego Mayor Lydia Abarientos, and Ragay Mayor Ricky Aquino on Friday.

“He surrendered to Colonel Tabuga after a call from a close family [member]. No one was hurt,” Panesa said.

Prajele is assigned in Juban town, Sorsogon province, under the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion. He is a resident of Adgangan village, Baao town in Camarines Sur. – Rappler.com