DAVAO CITY – Two police officers were captured by the New People’s Army in southern Philippines where government troops are battling the communist rebel group fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country.
A rebel spokesman, Roel Agustin, said Friday that both PO1 Alfredo Basabica and SPO2 George Rupinta are now “prisoners of war” and are currently being interrogated by the NPA. Basabica was captured at a rebel checkpoint in the village of Panansialan in Compostela Valley’s Compostela town while travelling to Davao City.
Rupinta was also taken captive in the town of Lupon in Davao Oriental province. The NPA also released a video of Rupinta appealing to the government to stop the military offensives against the rebel group and resume stalled peace talks with rebels.
He also told his family that rebels were treating him fairly and that they have nothing to worry about his safety in the hands of his captors. The rebels also accused the military of murdering innocent civilians suspected of being rebels or supporters of the NPA in the provinces.
There was no immediate statement or reaction from the military or police on the capture of Basabica and Rupinta. But their arrest came just days after security officials said at least 8 rebels were dead in a firefight in Davao. Troops also recovered the bodies of the slain rebels and 6 automatic rifles and a machine gun.
Peace talks between the government and rebels stalled with the NPA accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of failing to release all political prisoners as a precondition to the signing of a ceasefire agreement. The military, on the other hand, blamed the rebels for deadly attacks despite the peace negotiations. (Mindanao Examiner)
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