NPA rebels release abducted policemen PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 August 2016 14:31

As the resumption of peace talks between the GRP and the National Democratic Front (NDF) comes to a close in Oslo on a high note, the New People’s Army (NPA) released the abducted Gov. Generoso chief of police and another police officer on Friday afternoon.

This was a reaffirmation of showing goodwill to the resumption of peace talks in Oslo, Norway.

Released were Gov. Generoso Chief of Police Arnold Ongachen and Police Officer 2 Michael Grande of the Banaybanay Municipal Police. Both police officers were in separate custody of the units under the NPA ComVal Davao Gulf Sub-Regional Command.

Both police officers were fetched by Senator Manny Pacquiao, who presented them to President Rodrigo Duterte during the 10th Eastern Mindanao Command Anniversary at the Naval Station in Camp Panacan at past 5 p.m.

Another police officer, PO1 Richard Yu from Carmen, Surigao del Sur was also released.

The release of Ongachen and Grande was welcomed by Police Regional Office XI director Manuel Gaerlan.

“The whole PNP is grateful to our Almighty for keeping the two police officers safe and free once again. The two PNP personnel,” Gaerlan said in a statement.

Gaerlan said the PNP long expected the release.

Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia said the release of the two police officers is part of confidence building measures.

Hopefully, Valencia said this would go a long way toward successful peace negotiations.?

Ongachen and Grande’s release also follows the suspension of their investigation for possible war crimes and violations of people rights. It is also in deference to appeals of their families and peace advocates.

Ongachen, the police chief of the coastal town of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental, was abducted when NPA rebels attacked the police station on May 29.

President Rodrigo Duterte refused to facilitate the release of Ongachen following claims by the NPA that a sachet of shabu was taken from him during the raid. Ongachen was also accused of protecting the illegal drugs trade in Gov. Generoso.

On the other hand, Grande was taken as custody of the NPA rebels belonging to the ComVal – Davao Gulf Sub-Regional Command in Lupon, Davao Oriental on June 19. Grande was accused by the rebels to have mauled, harassed and intimidated at gunpoint several civilians in Banay-banay. He was also accused of receiving payoffs from illegal gambling in the area.