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(UPDATE 2) NPA abduct 2 cops in Compostela Valley

Posted by Abi Kwok on September 2, 2008

By Abigail Kwok, Mindanao Bureau
First Posted 13:26:00 09/02/2008

TAGUM CITY, Philippines — Alleged members of New People’s Army (NPA) abducted two (not three as earlier reported) police officers early Tuesday morning after setting up checkpoints and burning a government-owned dump truck in Mt. Diwalwal, Monkayo, Compostela Valley province.

Earlier, officials, including Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Eastern Command spokesman Major Armand Rico, said the rebels had seized three policemen when they set up checkpoints.

However, Compostela Valley police director Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, Compostela Valley police director, said only two policemen — Police Officers 3 Raymund Quinsang and Jerry Realino

Earlier, Rico and Mt. Diwata barangay (village) captain Franco Tito said that, aside from Realino, the rebels had also seized Police Officer 3 Rogelio Estrata and Police Officer 2 Hector Culaste.

Dela Rosa said Quinsang and Realino were in separate vehicles that passed the roadblock set up by as estimated 30 guerrillas on the highway in Sitio (sub-village) Unggoyan, midway between Diwalwal and Monkayo town proper.

The two police officers, he said, were taken to a still undetermined location.

Tito said the rebels also burned a truck of the Philippine Mining Development Corp. (PMDC), a state-owned company overseeing government mining operation in the gold-rush area, before they fled.

Police and military troops are pursuing the rebels who took the two policemen.

The Mt. Diwata incident took place a day after the National Democratic Front (NDF) on Mindanao called on the NPA to launch tactical offensives against the government as an expression of support to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Jorge Madlos, NDF Mindanao spokesperson, said escalating military attacks against the MILF, which have resulted in the massive displacement of Muslim and non-Muslims civilians in Central Mindanao, warranted the communist rebels’ intervention.

Madlos, also known as Ka Oris, said the Communist Party of the Philippines was committed to the Moro armed struggle and the Bangsamoro people’s quest for self-determination.

“As an obligation to our commitment to the MILF and the Bangsamoro struggle, the NPA must launch tactical offensives on a wider and more intensive scale in Mindanao and in the whole country,” Madlos said in a statement, a copy of which was received by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of Tuesday.

He said the NPA offensives “would be a great help to the Muslim insurgents to overcome the brutality and superiority of the military forces going after them.”

Madlos also faulted the government for the resumption of hostilities in Mindanao.

He said the government always wanted to “frustrate the MILF’s aspiration for a Bangsamoro homeland” because it did not have any intention of signing the memorandum on agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD).

“In peace negotiations, the US-Arroyo regime, like all previous reactionary regimes, cannot be trusted to honor a signed agreement. It [MOA-AD] was designed to provoke the MILF and thus create a flimsy excuse to use brute force to frustrate the aspirations for a Bangsamoro homeland,” he said.

Madlos meanwhile cautioned the MILF to “adhere to international laws of war and the protocols of internal armed conflict to win the people’s sympathy and support to their cause.”

“The legitimacy of the Moro People’s armed struggle for the right to self-determination should not be undermined by the negative impact of the destruction to properties and death to civilians,” he said.

Frinston Lim, Franklin Caliguid, Dennis Santos, Inquirer Mindanao


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