Friday, August 1, 2014

Roxas Secures Freedom of 4 Cops from NPA


From the Website of DILG
links: 
http://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/Roxas-Secures-Freedom-of-4-Cops-from-NPA/NC-2014-1024

Roxas Secures Freedom of 4 Cops from NPA

After 19 days in captivity, four police officers under the custody of the New People's Army were freed by their captors and turned over to government upon the intercession of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. 
 
The DILG Secretary flew to Agusan del Norte with Presidential Peace Adviser Ging Deles and PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima to ensure the safe release of PO3 Vic Calubag Concon, PO1 Rey O’niel Morales, PO1 Joen B. Zabala and PO1 Edito F. Roquino.

The four police officers were held captive by the NPA after a rebel raid on the Alegria municipal police station in Surigao del Norte last July 10. Two NPA rebels were killed during the raid, while two other police officers were wounded.

The NPA rebels released the four policemen unharmed past noon today to a team of local officials led by Agusan del Norte Gov. Angel Amante, who fetched the officers in the mountain barangay of Hinabangan located in Kitcharao town, Agusan del Norte.

The police officers were later reunited with their wives who were waiting with Roxas, Deles and Purisima at the temporary government command center in Kitcharao Elementary School, located about seven kilometers from the release site.

The police officers were later taken to a government hospital for medical check-up.
"Ang pangunahing interes ng misyong ito ay masigurong ligtas sa peligro ang apat na pulis at maibalik sila sa piling ng kanilang pamilya sa lalong madaling panahon," Roxas told reporters who interviewed him at the command center.

"Ginagawa lang natin ang ating tungkulin. Obligasyon ng pamahalaan na ibigay ang lahat ng suporta na kaya nitong ipaabot sa mga lingkod bayan na itinataya ang buhay sa panganib magampanan lamang ang kanilang trabaho," he added.

Negotiations for the release of the four police officers scored a major breakthrough last week after the National Democratic Front- North-eastern Mindanao sought the intercession of Roxas to break an impasse in ongoing talks to secure the policemen's freedom.

The Local Crisis Committee led by Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas had began negotiating with the NDF-NEMR for the policemen's freedom immediately after the rebel raid on Alegria.

Initially, the NDFP-NEMR demanded that government security forces declare a 10 day-ceasefire (SOMO/SOPO) in Surigao City and 14 municipalities in the mainland of Surigao del Norte as preconditions for the policemen's release.

After a series of negotiations with the local crisis committee, the NDFP reduced the ceasefire period to six days covering only six municipalities in the mainland of Surigao del Norte.

Last Saturday, July 26, the NDFP-NEMR informed Sec. Roxas through an emissary that the NPA units holding the four policemen as hostages are amenable in releasing their captives if government security forces will agree on a five-day ceasefire covering the towns of Placer, Bacuag, Tubod, Gigaquit, Alegria and Claver, in Surigao del Norte; and the towns of Kitcharao, Jabonga and Santiago, in Agusan del Norte.

Last Sunday, July 27, Roxas announced that the military and the police have agreed to meet the rebels' precondition to pave the way for the safe release of the four police officers.
The DILG chief's announcement prompted the NDF-NEMR to issue a corresponding ceasefire order, which led to the eventual release of the four policemen.
"Taos-pusong pasasalamat kay Gov. Sol Matugas, Cong. Lalo Matugas at Gov. Angel Amante gayundin sa iba pang LGU officials at employees na naglaan ng oras at pagod para mapalaya ang apat nating pulis," Roxas said.

"Hayaan ninyong bigyan ko ng espesyal na komendasyon si Gov. Matugas dahil alam ko na sa unang araw pa lamang na makuha ng NPA ang ating mga pulis, agad niyang binuo ang Local Crisis Committee para masigurong hindi malalagay sa peligro ang buhay ng mga pulis na ito," he added.

Roxas also cited the efforts of peace advocates and civil society organizations, who helped the Local Crisis Committee in the initial stages of negotiations with the NDF-NEMR.

"Nagpapasalamat din ako sa civil society organizations at third party facilitators na nakipagtulungan sa ating mga LGU officials para mabilis na maresolbahan ang krisis na ito," the DILG chief said.

"Sa pagtutulungan nating lahat, naipakita natin na posibleng makamit ang kapayapaan kung sama-sama tayong magsusulong nito," he added.


DILG Website


http://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/Roxas-Secures-Freedom-of-4-Cops-from-NPA/NC-2014-1024


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