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NPA declares Davao Oriental police officer a prisoner of war

The New People's Army owned up to the arrest of a police officer in Davao Oriental saying they are investigating him for possible war crimes amid the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao.

In a statement on Friday, Roel Agustin II, NPA spokesman for Comval-Davao East Coast Sub-Regional Operations Command, said PO1 Alfredo Sillada Basabica, Jr. is a prisoner of war and is given "lenient treatment."

"As a prisoner of war, Basabica is being investigated for possible crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement. As per policy of the NPA, POW Basabicsa is being given lenient treatment in adherence to international war protocols," Agustin said.

"POW Basabica's PNP unit is being used by the local and provincial reactionary government for their anti-Lumad and anti-peasant "tourism" project in Aliwagwag Falls. It is also being investigated for the pervasive illegal drug trade in Cateel, for the torture of five peasants who were illegally arrested last March and May, and active intelligence activities against civilians whom they accuse of being supporters of the revolutionary movement," Agustin added.

Basabica, 26, is assigned at Cateel Municipal Police Sub-station in Barangay Aliwagwag. He was arrested in a checkpoint of the NPA fighters who wore military uniforms in Km. 26, Barangay Panansalan, Compostela town in Compostela Valley, around 4:15 pm, Tuesday, July 11.

Agustin said with the ongoing implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, the NPA in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley is heightening armed resistance by launching tactical offensives to address "the escalating fascism of the Duterte regime."

Agustin said Duterte's martial law is "fast resembling the dark days of Marcos' loathed martial rule."

The NPA added that the military is launching an offensive and civil-military operations in at least 19 villages in Compostela Valley and more than 10 villages in Davao Oriental.

Agustin said they received reports from residents that more than 40 soldiers who identified themselves as members of the Division Reconnaissance Company "held at gunpoint, hogtied and mauled seven peasants whom they accused to be members of the NPA" in Sitio San Juan, Barangay Pasian in Monkayo town in Compostela Valley province.

Agustin added that after an ambush against government troops in Barangay Salvacion in Monkayo last July 1, reinforcing soldiers "burned down and looted the houses of Lumad and peasants."

"Duterte is leaving the extension and expansion of martial law up to the discretion of the militarist hawks in his regime, especially US stooge DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana. Instead of addressing the pressing problems of the Filipino people such as landlessness and unemployment, Duterte is deliberately choosing to perpetuate fascism that, time and again, all the more fuels the armed resistance in the country," Agustin said.

The Philippine National Police is calling for the immediate release of the police officer.

[Source: By Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano, Davao Today, Davao City, 14Jul17]

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Peace Negotiations in the Philippines
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