ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/16 May) –New People’s Army (NPA) rebels released on Tuesday a policeman they had held captive since last month after a raid on the police station of Tigbao town, Zamboanga del Sur.
Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Police Regional Office-9 director, said Police Officer 2 Faisal Juhaili was released around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Kanipaan, Bayog town.
Estilles said Juhaili was turned over to his relatives headed by Ustadz Abdul Juhaili, the policeman’s uncle, at the barangay hall of Kanipaan.
It was Ustadz Juhaili who led the negotiation for the release of his nephew, Estilles said.
Juhaili was one of the four policemen on duty when some 40 rebels raided the police station of Tigbao last April 9 and carted away seven M-16 Armalite rifles, an M-14 rifle and a .9-mm pistol.
With only 23 personnel, Tigbao’s police station is the second smallest in Zamboanga del Sur in terms of strength.
In a statement today, National Democratic Front (NDF)-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge Madlos said Juhaili was released since he has not committed “grave crimes against the people except that he only acted according to his duty as a police officer” and “he cooperated well with and displayed a good attitude towards the members of the NPA’s custodial unit.”
“Apart from these, PO2 Juhaili, already in his 50s and has seven children, is also being released on humanitarian grounds in response to the plea of his family, relatives and friends for his immediate safe release,” Madlos said.
He added they observed the rules on the treatment of “prisoners of war.”
Estilles said Juhaili will undergo debriefing, a procedure that police and military personnel captured by rebels usually go through upon release from captivity. (MindaNews)