DAVAO CITY — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) announced Tuesday, April 12, that they will open the line for negotiations for the release of police and soldiers who are in custody of the New People’s Army (NPA).
On April 3, the NPAs put up checkpoints in seven areas in Mindanao and captured as their prisoners three police officers and two soldiers.
The negotiations would ensue once the prisoners are in secured areas for their eventual release, Cesar Renerio, spokesperson of NDFP-Mindanao said in a statement.
Renerio said they are thankful for the Governor Yevgeny Emano of Misamis Oriental and Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform for acting as third party facilitators for the release of the prisoners.
“We also recognize the efforts of Mayor Jezrel Masendo of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur for assisting the families of one of the prisoners who is among their constituents. Their help appeases the worries of the families of the prisoners,” he said.
The NPA took the following members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army as prisoners of war:
- Senior Police Officer 1 Warren Hansol Coñales (Impasug-ong Police Station)
- Police Officer 3 Edwin Panis Castor (Wao, Lanao del Sur)
- Senior Police Officer 4 Rene Rombo (Kinoguitan PNP Station)
- Private First Class Glenn Austia (23rd Infantry Battalion)
- Private First Class Diven Abion Tawide (23rd Infantry Battalion)
Reds to release videos of POWs
Renerio said they assure the families of the prisoners that the custodial units of the prisoners will release a video message of their loved ones as soon as possible.
He said the families should also understand the “realities of a civil war” in the country.
“Your loved ones were taken as prisoners because they are members of the armed forces of the ruling class. The ruling class dominates using the armed forces, the reactionary law and the court and prison,” he said.
POWs still ‘part of the oppressed’
Despite that, he said the revolutionary movement treats them “as part of the oppressed”.
“But because of the war, there are revolutionary policies that we follow before we release them to you, we hope you understand,” he said.
“There is no need to hold them much longer if they have no serious case against the people,” he said.
Renerio added that there should be a favorable condition for the release of the prisoners and leaves it up to the government forces. (davaotoday.com)