NPA releases abducted cop

THE NEW PEOPLE’S Army (NPA) released a policeman on Friday in an NPA camp in Davao Oriental.

NPA spokesperson Rubi del Mundo said PO1 Alfredo Sia Basabica, Jr. was freed “as an act of clemency and goodwill.”

The release “is an act in the exercise of the political power and authority of the People’s Democratic Government and is undertaken on humanitarian grounds and as an act of clemency and goodwill for the resumption of the peace negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP,” del Mundo said.

The released policeman, a resident of Barangay Taytayan, Cateel, Davao Oriental, said he was treated well by his captors.

Basabica, who serves the force for two years, was in police uniform aboard a bus when he was abducted by NPA rebels in a checkpoint they set up in Panansalan, Compostela, Compostela Valley on July 11.

The release comes even as tensions are growing between the GPH and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), whose negotiating panels are involved in an on-again-off-again talk on a possible ceasefire.

Del Mundo said that the information on the circumstances of the arrest, as well as the “charges” placed upon the police officer have been forwarded to the NDFP negotiating panel as attachments to a report sent to the NDFP.

As such, the charges against Basabica were dropped.

“This Order of Release is likewise the NDFP’s favorable response to the widespread appeals of the prisoner’s family and relatives and well-meaning parties and individuals who have expressed support for the negotiated settlement on the issue of Prisoner of War within the purview of the CARHRIHL and the Geneva Conventions and Protocol,” del Mundo said.

In a message sent to the AFP-PNP Press Corps by Police Regional Office XI spokesperson Catherine dela Rey, regional director Chief Supt Manuel Gaerlan said “what is important now is that he is safe.”

Gaerlan likewise said that the government does not negotiate or give ransoms to “terrorists” and “kidnap for ransom groups.”

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