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Captive cops in safe condition, NPA leader in Surigao says

A ranking leader of the New People’s Army in Caraga claimed the two policemen they seized in Placer town, Surigao del Norte last Monday are in safe condition.

Ka Oto, spokesperson of the NPA’s Front Committee 16, said the families, relatives and friends of Police Officer 2 John Doverte and Police Officer 2 Alfredo Degamon have “nothing to worry because they (policemen) are in safe condition.”

With the police officers being declared as prisoners of war, he said their families could be assured that Doverte and Degamon are being treated humanely and their rights, protected in accordance to international laws.

On Monday, about 20 communist rebels aboard two Starex vans snatched the policemen past 1 p.m. at a police outpost in Bad-as public market in Placer town.

Oto said the abduction was mounted to punish members of the town police who were allegedly behind extrajudicial killing of a certain Genesis Lebaste, for allegedly protecting rampant drug trafficking and engaging in mulcting and extortion on small-scale miners and fish vendors in the area.

Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas said the provincial government is exerting all efforts to secure the release of the captives.

“The provincial government is exerting all efforts for their safe release,” Matugas said as she met with the families of the abducted police officers on Tuesday.

The provincial crisis management committee (CMC) and Placer town CMC were both activated to look into the situation and for possible negotiation with the hostage-takers for their safe release. By GD

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