NPA orders release of captured cop in Davao

Subscribe Now February 18, 2011 at 09:22pm

The communist New People's Army (NPA) on Sunday ordered the release of a policeman it "captured" in Davao Oriental earlier this month in what it claimed as a show of goodwill for the ongoing formal peace talks. But NPA Medardo Arce Command spokesman Rigoberto Sanchez said the release of PO2 Jerwel Tugade will depend on the deployment of police and military forces in the area.

"His release is anchored on the international humanitarian law and an act of goodwill in support to the resumption of the formal peace negotiations between the (Philippine government) and the (National Democratic Front)," he said in a statement posted on the Communist Party of the Philippines website (CPP).

Government and NDF negotiators are holding formal peace talks in Norway from Feb. 15 to 21. Both sides are observing ceasefire while the talks are ongoing.

Sanchez said an investigation "cleared" Tugade of direct involvement and participation in "anti-people acts and violating human rights" in the area.

But he added the implementation of the release order shall be based on the assessment of Tugade's NPA custodial unit on the ground situation, particularly the movement and forward deployment of police and military troops.

"The revolutionary movement is giving utmost importance to the safety of POW PO2 Tugade and the receiving party to effect the eventual reunion with his family," he said.

Sanchez said Tugade is a member of the Philippine National Police's 1106th Provincial Mobile Group assigned in the Banay Banay PNP Municipal Station.

NPA members arrested him at a mobile checkpoint last Feb. 7, along the Tagum-Mati national highway in Barangay Pintatagan, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.


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