NDFP-Mindanao congratulates NPA in Southern Mindanao
for recent POW releases*
Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
February 21, 2011
The NDFP-Mindanao wishes to salute and congratulate NPA Red Fighters in the Southern Mindanao Region (SMR), particularly those of the Conrado Heredia Command - Front 20, the Front 25 Operations Command and the Wilfredo Zapanta Command-Front 18, for having carried out the speedy and safe release of three prisoners of war (POWs), namely PO3 Jorge Sabatin, Pfc. El Bryan Cañedo and PO2 Jerwel Montecillo Tugade on three separate occasions.
The releases of PO3 Sabatin, Pfc. Pfc. Cañedo, and PO2 Tugade were acts of goodwill that showed the sincerity of the NPA in abiding by the spirit of the mutually-agreed ceasefire between the NDFP and the GPH.
Such indeed helped bolster confidence not only for the on-going peace talks but for the entire peace process as well. This is further evidence of the NPA's profound understanding and respect for international laws and protocols of war as well as humanitarian laws.
It would indeed be helpful for the progress of the peace process if the GPH expedite also the immediate release of all political prisoners, especially those who are protected under the JASIG, and order the AFP-PNP-CAFGU to strictly observe the ceasefire.
It is regrettable however that the AFP, PNP and CAFGU were unrelenting in their offensive combat operations that sought to "rescue" the three war captives, endangering the very lives of the POWs. AFP and PNP units did not positively reciprocate to the call of the NPA custodial force to cease and desist from conducting offensive combat operations in the area as part of goodwill measures to assure their safe release. These acts of non-reciprocity only show the GPH's armed force's contempt towards the on-going peace talks and the peace process in general.
As we congratulate the NPA in their string of victories in the field and laud their positive gesture in the release of the POWs, we call on them to be unwavering and steadfast in their commitment to fight for and in behalf of the general interest of the masses for land reform, national industrialization, defense of the environment, and for national liberation and democracy.