Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NPA declares two arrested 57th IB-AFP troops in Southern Mindanao prisoners of war-NDF

NPA declares two arrested 57th IB-AFP troops
in Southern Mindanao prisoners of war*

Isabel Santiago
Herminio Alfonso Command,
Front 53 Operations Command,
NPA-Southern Mindanao
April 18, 2011

The Herminio Alfonso Command-Front 53 Operations Command of the New People's Army in Southern Mindanao arrested Cpl. Delfin Largo Sarocam (Serial # 797683) and PFC Jayson Burgos Valenzuela (Serial # 872545) of the 57th Infantry Battalion-AFP, Thursday, April 14, 2 pm at Sitio Dalinding, Barangay Datu Inda in President Roxas town, North Cotabato. Two .45 cal. pistols were confiscated from them. The NPA declares them as prisoners of war (POWs).

POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela are part of the AFP's special operations team unleashed in North Cotabato implementing the US-Aquino counterrevolutionary plan 'Bayanihan.' Operating under the cover of "peace and development" activities, Sarocam and Valenzuela conducted intelligence operations particularly verifying the presence of Red fighters in Barangay Datu Inda when they were arrested.

The AFP special operations in North Cotabato are aimed in intimidating and harassing local residents, in the process affecting their livelihood. Under the anti-people 'Bayanihan' and similar to Oplan Bantay Laya, local residents are forced to join the AFP-enforced Barangay Defense System amid rampant harassment and extra-judicial killings against civilians among other rights violations and crimes against humanity.

POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela are undergoing investigations for serious violations they may have committed against the people and the revolution in the course of implementing the regime's vicious counterrevolutionary war. The NPA assures their families that their rights are fully respected attendant to their status as prisoners of war. They are also treated humanely in accordance with the war protocols and the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.