DAVAO CITY – The Army’s Eastern Mindanao Command welcomed the release of the prisoner-of-war by the New People’s Army on the eve of New Year, Thursday.
Sgt. Adriano Bingil was released by the NPA to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte more than three months after he was arrested.
Captain Alberto Caber, chief of Public Information Office said “we hope that they will continue with such gestures of peace and goodwill by abandoning the armed struggle and putting a stop to their extortion activities and attacks against development projects.”
Agusan del Norte first district Rep. Lawrence Fortun also attended the NPA’s release in Barangay Durian, Las Nievas, Agusan Del Norte.
The local third party facilitators was headed by Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) Bishop Felixberto Calang and San Luis, Agusan del Sur Mayor Ronaldo Corvera.
Bingil was captured by a unit of the NPA’s Front 88 in Km. 16, Barangay Policarpo, San Luis, Agusan del Sur on September 19.
In a statement, Jorge Madlos, also known as Ka Oris, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao said they hope that whatever experience Bingil got from the revolutionary force would teach him about the meaning of service to the people.
“Congratulations Sgt Adriano Delapeña Bingil! Hinaut nga ang unsa mang kasinatian ug mga pagtulun-an nga imong nasinati uban sa mga rebolusyonaryo makatabang kanimo sa pagpalapad sa imong mga panglantaw kalabot sa kahulogan sa tinuod nga pag-alagad sa katawhan (We hope that whatever experience and lessons you learned while staying with the revolutionaries would help you have a broader perspective about the meaning of genuine service to the people),” said Madlos.
Madlos also said they hope the family and friends of Bingil would understand that the NDF, NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines “did all its best to release your loved one the soonest time.”
He also expressed gratitude top the local third party facilitators and individuals who assisted during the release “even if the military officials refused to cooperate for the immediate and safe release of Bingil.”
Madlos said the military declared a “Stand Down Order” because “according to them they do not have the right to declare a Suspension of Military Operations (Somo) as this is the responsibility of the civilian authority.
The Stand Down Order, he said, means the Army troops will not leave the community, where the possible release of the prisoner will take place, and will remain where they are.
“Kini nga palisiya dakung risgo sa seguridad mismo sa POW, sa NPA Custodial Force, sa mga pamilya ug kaparyentihan, sa Local Third Party Facilitators, mga personalidad, mga sakop sa media ug tanang katawhan nga mosaksi sa pag-release. Gikinahanglan gyud ang pagpatuman sa epektibo ug sinabutang temporaryong ceasefire (This policy puts to risk the security of the POW, the NPA custodial force, family and relatives, local third party facilitators, personalities, media and those who will witness the release. There is a need to implement an effective and agreed temporary ceasefire),” he said.
Madlos said the Armed Forces of the Philippines did not respect the call of the local civilian authorities for a temporary ceasefire.
“Ingon nila, Malakanyang lang ang order nga ilang tumanon. Apan ang Malakanyang nagapakabuta-bungol lang kalabot sa hangyo sa SOMO-SOPO sa mga pamilya sa POW, Local Third Party Facilitators, LGU ug ubang nagpakabanang mga pundok (They said they will only follow Malacañang’s order. But the Malacañang was deaf and blind on the demands of the family of the prisoner, local third party facilitators, LGU and other concerned sectors for a SOMO),” said Madlos.
Madlos said the delay in the release of the prisoner can only be blamed against the government and the AFP “who refuse to recognize the political power of the revolutionary movement.”
“This also shows that they don’t have concern over the Army troops who are captured as prisoners, except maybe if the prisoner is a high-ranking official,” he added.
Madlos said prisoners of war (POW) will be penalized according to the crimes they have committed. But he said a number of POWs were released due to humanitarian consideration and to show the NDF’s readiness to go back to peace negotiations.
The NDF said there is an estimate 600 political prisoners in the country, including 21 NDFP consultants for peace. It said they do not see the government’s humanitarian treatment for the political prisoners.
Madlos also told Bingil that should he return to serve the AFP “we hope he will be part of the positive elements inside the AFP who stands up for the interest of the people whom they pledged to serve.” (davaotoday.com)