AFP suspends military operations to allow safe release of police captives

Jul. 28, 2014

DAVAO CITY — The Army has implemented five days of ceasefire apparently to meet the demand of the National Democratic Front to pave the way for the release of four police personnel captured by the guerrillas early this month.

Captain Alberto Caber,  spokesperson of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command said Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier G Cruz III “implemented the five day suspension of military operations (SOMO) effective July 27 in the municipalities of Placer, Bacuag, Tubod, Gigakit, Claver and Alegria all of Surigao del Norte and in Santiago, Kitcharao and Jabonga all of Agusan del Norte.”

The areas were also identified earlier by NDF-Mindanao Spokesperson Ka Oris.

Caber said the order is “based on the directive issued by higher headquarters.”

“The five-day ceasefire temporarily prevents the AFP from the conduct of deliberate offensive operations against the NPA except on movements or activities aimed to support the civil authorities, government  instrumentalities and other agencies in promoting peace, development and humanitarian assistance programs,” said Caber in an email statement to the media.

The four police personnel, namely PO3 (Police Officer 3) Vic Calubag Concon, PO1 Rey O’niel Morales, PO1 Joen B. Zabala and PO1 Edito F. Roquino was captured by the NPA in a raid of the Alegria, Surigao del Sur Municipal Police Station last July 10.

Caber said that Army and police troops have been on a “continuous pursuit operations in the said provinces resulted to 13 encounters with several NPA members killed in the course of the firefight while the wounded NPA were brought to different places as they scampered for safety and evade our forces.” (

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