SURIGAO CITY – Three policemen and a non-uniformed personnel (NUP) who were abducted by the New People’s Army (NPA) last month was released yesterday in Sitio Brazil, Brangay Mat-i, Surigao City.
The police officers were identified as SPO3 Santiago B. Lamanilao of Surigao City Police Station; PO3 Jayroll H. Bagayas, and PO2 Caleb C. Sinaca, both assigned to the Malimono Municipal Police Station (MPS).
Also freed was civilian employee Rodrigo T. Angob who works at the Malimono Municipal Police Station.
The custodial force of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NMRC) handed over their captives to third-party facilitators led by Surigao del Norte Vice-Gov. Arturo Egay, Jr., Surigao City Vice-Mayor Alfonso Casurra and members of religious sectors.
The policemen and NUP were on their way to a friend’s house for lunch at Barangay Cagtinae in Malimono town, Surigao del Norte when abducted by the NPA on July 24.
Relatives of the released ‘Prisoners of War’ were jubilant in seeing their loved ones who were held captive for 34 days in the jungles of Malimono and other areas in Surigao del Norte.
“Salamat sa Gino-o, wala jud kami nila (Abductors) pasakiti ug ila jud gisunod ang protocols of war” (Thank God, they (abductors) did not harm us and they really followed the protocols of war),” said Lamanilao.
The two other released policemen and NUP also voiced the same by also expressing gratitude to their abductors for not harming them during their 34 days stay somewhere in the jungle of Malimono and other areas in Surigao del Norte.
The freeing of the POWs considered a reaffirmation of showing goodwill to the resumption of peace talks, said “Ka Uto” of guerilla-Front Committee 16 of the CPP-NPA.
Vice Gov. Egay said the resumption of peace talks between the GRP and the National Democratic Front (NDF) will be a big factor in economic development.
“Their release is a big advancement in our continuing quest for peace and the peace talks between the Philippine government and CPP-NPA-NDF is a key factor for development,” the vice-governor said.
Meantime, PO1 Richard V. Yu of the Carmen Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Carmen Town in Surigao del Sur got his freedom 54 days after being abducted by NPA rebels.
Yu was seized by the rebels while the policeman was feeding his farm animals on July 5.
Yu was released to the officials of Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office (PPO) headquarters in Tandag City.
According to Chief Inspector Charity S. Galvez, regional spokesperson of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) based at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, Yu is currently undergoing medical check-up at the Tandag City Hospital.
(MIKE U. CRISMUNDO)