From the Mindanao Examiner (Apr 25): NPA rebels free 5 Davao cops, hold on to 11 other POWs
The New People’s Army on Monday released five policemen who were captured more than a week ago during a simultaneous raid in Davao City in southern Philippines, a rebel spokesman said.
Rubi del Mundo said the release of Chief Inspector Leonardo V. Tarungoy, PO3 Rosenie L. Cabuenas, PO3 Rudolf Y. Pacete, PO3 Abdul Azis A. Ali Jr. and PO2 Neil C. Arellano was largely due to “humanitarian consideration to the appeals of peace-loving organizations acting on behalf of the families and relatives of the prisoners of war.”
They were captured on April 16 in the village of Salapawan in Davao City’s Paquibato district where rebels attacked and overran an army post manned by 72nd Infantry Battalion.
The rebels earlier released videos of the prisoners and it showed the policemen appealing to the government to halt the military shelling and suspension of police operations in Davao for fear they would be killed in the continuing assault.
The safe release of the prisoners also coincided with the 43rd anniversary of the National Democratic Front, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The rebels have been fighting for decades now in effort to put up a separate communist state in the country.
“The entire revolutionary movement in Southern Mindanao and the whole of the Philippines congratulate the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion in their safe custody of the five POWs in the face of the so-called rescue operations of government troops in Paquibato, Davao City,” Del Mundo said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said rebel forces are still holding 11 prisoners of war in southern Philippines.
Del Mundo also appealed to the public to support mass protests being held by hungry farmers, whose rice field and plantations were devastated by severe drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomena. He encouraged other victims of calamities who were neglected by the Aquino government to join the protests, not only in Mindanao, but elsewhere in the country to dramatize their disgust and demand for justice.
“The NDFP in Southern Mindanao encourages the masses of peasants and Lumads in the countryside to participate in the wave of protests currently proliferating in all parts of the country. The masses who are presently in barricades, in pickets or in camp-ins, vow to waver not an inch in demanding for justice against the US-Aquino III regime’s fascist crimes in the Kidapawan massacre and other areas.”
“These militant actions are not only necessary, but also just in exposing the rottenness of the ruling reactionary regime while generating popular support from Filipinos here and abroad,” he said.
Del Mundo also criticized presidential candidate Mar Roxas, of the ruling Liberal Party, and urged voters to reject the former Interior secretary’s political ambition “who shamefacedly distorts history by projecting himself as the savior of victims during the Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) calamity.”
“As the May 9 election draws near, the reactionaries currently bickering to be the next ruling clique should face the issues plaguing the Filipino masses squarely, not least the immediate and just demands of the masses in Mindanao. As for the entire revolutionary movement in Southern Mindanao and the rest of the country, we will continue the national democratic revolution as the only viable alternative to the derelict semi-feudal and semi-colonial system victimizing the Filipino people,” he said.
Typhoon Yolanda had killed more than 6,000 people in central Philippines, the most devastated by the calamity that struck the Philippines in 2013.