DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A police officer who was held captive by the New People’s Army appealed for help from local government unit of Makilala town in North Cotabato to suspend the military operations to give way for his release.
“I am appealing to the local government to help in my immediate release,” said Police Officer 1 Bristol B. Catalan Jr., a member of the Makilala Police Station.
Catalan was “arrested” by the NPA’s Mt. Apo Sub-Regional Command in Southern Mindanao at 7:10 a.m on August 16 in Barangay Katipunan, Kidapawan City.
He also appealed to the military and the police to suspend their operations to hasten his release.
In a video released by the NPA on Wednesday, Catalan narrated his personal experience with the communist rebels. He said the NPA’s “lenient and humane treatment of him” debunked his earlier perception against the NPAs.
“Ever since I have not seen a Red fighter…That’s why (when I was caught) I thought they would ill-treat me. But what I found out, it’s far from the truth. I did not receive even a single flick. They treated me well,” Catalan said in the video.
He also told his family not to worry about his condition.
Catalan’s video came in the heels of the release of another NPA prisoner of war SPO2 George Rupinta last September 15.
Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the Regional Operations Command of the NPA in Southern Mindanao, blamed the government forces relentless operations against the NPAs of which it resulted to “hampering the judicial process” concerning Catalan’s release after being held captive by the rebels.
“Negotiations with regards to his possible release are being sabotaged by these operations in the name of the Duterte’s fascist martial law,” Sanchez said in a statement.
The NPA spokesperson said they “NPA adheres to international protocols and conventions, along with its own revolutionary discipline,” adding that the NPA in the region has consistently accorded lenient treatment to its prisoners.(davaotoday.com)