Gregorio Pio Catapang

Philippine military chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. answers questions during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, Philippines on Sunday. Pic: AP

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military chief says a U.N. peacekeeping commander in the Golan Heights should be investigated for allegedly asking Filipino troops to surrender to Syrian rebels who attacked their camp.

Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said Monday that 40 Filipino peacekeepers defied the U.N. commander’s order after being advised by him and instead escaped to safety under cover of darkness from the Golan encampment, which was surrounded by more than 100 insurgents.

Forty-five Fijian peacekeepers who surrendered their firearms to the rebels last week are still being held by the al-Qaida-linked insurgents.

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, which oversees the peacekeeping mission in Golan, did not immediately reply to a request for a comment.