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NPA declares cop as POW, stages offensive ops vs. military in Paquibato

The New People's Army in Southern Mindanao took a police officer and declared it as 'prisoner of war.'

The NPA identified the police officer as SPO2 George Canete Rupinta, 52, from Brgy. Tagugpo, Lupon, Davao Oriental.

In a statement on Monday, NPA Spokesperson Rigoberto F. Sanchez said that Rupinta was captured by the communist rebel's 6th Pulang Bagani Company and the Guerrilla Front 18 on June 9, around 4:30 p.m.

A 9 mm handgun was seized from Rupinta's possession, according to Sanchez, while noting that "the NPA's custodial force has placed Rupinta under investigation for the anti-people activities of his police unit in Lupon."

"While AFP forces ravage Marawi City in the guise of neutralizing the Maute Group, it carries out warrantless arrests against innocent Moro civilians, indiscriminate aerial bombardments, destruction of homes and livelihood and dislocation of hundreds of thousands of residents. In contrast, the NPA imposes special operations against legitimate military targets like Rupinta while remaining obedient to the protocols of war and/or international humanitarian law," the NPA spokesperson said.

Also, the NPA's 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion, he said, has staged an offensive attack on June 11, against the military troops coming from the Army's 16th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Paradise Embac which resulted to the demise of nine soldiers and wounding six on Sunday's brief clash.

Sanchez said that two civilians were wounded after the military "strafed a house in Paradise Embac." He added that "one of the civilians was still in critical condition. The same Army battalion in Paquibato had also been responsible of mauling, ransacking of houses and other abuses."

"In contrast to the AFP which has escalated its atrocious anti-people operations and all-out war in both urban centers and the countryside, the NPA carries out peace and order campaigns in its areas of jurisdiction against fascist forces, local tyrants and legitimate military targets," he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was in Davao on June 12 to grace the city's 119th Independence Day celebration.

In his speech, Lorenzana cited the efforts of the Dabawenyos to fight back against the communist group in the 1980s.

"If you remember in the 1980s, the NPA where there in your houses, knocking," Lorenzana said during a ceremony at the city's Rizal Park.

"But what did the Dabawenyos do? The Dabawenyos rise up, they formed the Alsa Masa."

Lorenzana said that Alsa Masa should be recalled as the Maute Terror Group has already established contacts in the city.

"If we will not be vigilant pretty soon, they (Maute) will be here in the City." Lorenzana said citing that the father of the Maute brothers, Cayamura Maute was arrested in Sirawan Toril district.

Lorenzana was joined by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. General Rey Leonardo Guerrero during Monday's119th Independence Day celebration.

[Source: By Mart D. Sambalud, Davao Today, Davao City, 13Jun17]

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