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NDF-NEMR to release 5 POW as goodwill for the August Oslo talks with the Duterte government

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Northeastern Mindanao Region (NDFP-NEMR) announces the upcoming release of the five (5) prisoners of war of the New People's Army (NPA) in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

On July 5, 2016, PO1 Richard Vaz Yu of the PNP in Carmen, Surigao del Sur was arrested in Brgy. San Vicente by a team of the NPA Front 30-NEMR based on reports of his involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the municipality. He has been under the custody of NPA's Front Operational Command 30 since his arrest.

On July 24, 2016 PO2 Caleb Sinaca, PO3 Jayroll Bagayas and NPU Rodrigo Angob of the Malimono Municipal Police Station and SPO3 Santiago Lamanilao of the Surigao City Police Office in Surigao del Norte were arrested in Brgy. Cagtinae in Malimono by a team of the NPA Front 16. They were arrested for their involvement in illegal drugs and illegal gambling in Malimono and Surigao City. PO2 Sinaca is linked as police protector to illegal drug syndicates and the illegal logging trade in the same town. He is also known for his extortion activities of small-scale miners, threatening and harassing peasants working for his father, Dario Sinaca. The 4 has been under the custody of NPA's Front Operational Command 16.

These arrests were made by the NPA in NEMR as part of its own anti-drug campaign. The NDFP-NEMR has done preliminary investigation of the 5 POW and will turn over the results of the NPA's investigation to the third party facilitator and the PNP through its Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa in the hope that it will assist them in their own investigation.

We congratulate the custodial forces of the New People's Army's Front Operational Command 30 and 16 who continue to successfully ensure the safety of the POW despite the relentless combat and community operations for peace and development (COPD) of the AFP. The custodial forces painstakingly adheres to Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law on the treatment of prisoners of war.

The release of the 5 POW is in response to the appeal of the 5 POW's families with the facilitation of religious members of the different churches in the two provinces. Their release signifies the revolutionary movement's serious intent in pursuing peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH and as a gesture of goodwill for the resumption of formal talks in Oslo, Norway on August 22, 2016.

[Source: Statement - Ka Maria Malaya, Spokesperson, NDFP-NEMR, 16Aug16]

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Peace Negotiations in the Philippines
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