Military, NDFP blame each other over aborted release of cops held by NPA rebels

Soldiers image from AFP | NPA image capture of video by Inquirer
  • The NDFP and the military blamed each other regarding the aborted release of two abducted cops held by the rebels
  • A spokesman for the NDFP said the military did not heed its call for them to stand down
  • The military said the 2 cops are supposedly spending time with their family if they were not abducted in the first place

The planned release of two police officers snatched by the New People’s Army (NPA), the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) armed wing, in Surigao del Norte last month was aborted.

As per Minda News, a spokesperson for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Northeastern Mindanao Region (NDFP is the CPP’s political arm) said Police Officers 2 Jhon Paul M. Doverte and Alfredo L. Degamon were supposed to be released on December 5, but it was aborted due to the military’s refusal to heed the call for them to stand down.

“All units of military and police force should stand down for six days in six towns of the province to pave way for the safe release but the military failed to do so as they continued its military operations,” Ka Maria Malaya, NDFP-NEMR spokesperson, said.

Meanwhile, a military official put the blame on the rebels.

“The communist terrorists should be blamed why the two abducted cops from Placer Surigao del Norte are still held captive until now and supposedly spending time with their family if they were not abducted in the first place,” Lt. Col Xerxes A. Trinidad, battalion commander of the 36th Infantry Battalion (IB) said in a statement on Wednesday, December 13.

Trinidad said the AFP has no authority to declare a suspension of military operations.

“The AFP has no authority to declare a SOMO (Suspension of Military Operations), more so the 36IB. We are following the chain of command, unless there is a directive from the President declaring a SOMO, the 36IB will not stop in pursuing the abductors and rescue the two cops. Also, we will be relentless in conducting Security Operations to perform our mandate in securing the land and serving the Filipino people,” he said.