NPA ‘violated’ Christmas truce by abducting jail warden: army

THE MILITARY accused the New People’s Army of violating the ceasefire after the red fighters abducted a provincial jail warden of Compostela Valley on the morning of Dec. 23.

“What they have done is really a violation of their own ceasefire considering its Christmas season,” Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano, 10th Infantry Division Commander, said in a statement.

“We are assisting the PNP in tracking the location of the kidnapped warden, however, we cannot launch rescue operations right now because of the ceasefire,” he added.

The officer hopes the NPA will release the warden without any conditions in the spirit of the Christmas season.

In a statement sent to TIMES, Ka Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the NPA- Comval-North Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command, said the warden was captured to “subject him to an investigation to determine his individual culpability with respect to the complaints lodged against him before the People’s Democratic Government by jail inmates and their families.”

The statement added: “Complaints against Coquilla include his willful negligence in the supervision of inmates and his direct and indirect, overt and covert participation of drug trade and drug use inside the Comval jail.”

In a report, Jose Mervin E. Coquilla was taken from his house in Barangay Sto. Nino in Panabo City at around 7:45 a.m.

“We are saddened and we appeal for the release (of the warden). We are also asking for help from the provincial government of ComVal (Compostela Valley),” said Engr. Agripino E. Coquilla, elder brother of the victim and councilor of Tagum City.

Coquilla said they are sure the NPA abducted his brother because they also took the wife who was later released when she begged to be freed. The couple has three children.

The victim has been the jail warden of ComVal Provincial Jail for a decade now, and the family said they never received any threat before the abduction.

Coquilla said that the victim’s wife overheard the conversation among the captors that the warden will be released in exchange for some of the rebels detained in the provincial jail.

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