NPA admits holding Army sergeant as ?prisoner of war?

In a press statement, the rebel group said the investigation will be conducted by a special body formed by the Merardo Arce Command

The NPA said that Baludoya, a detachment commander of the 72nd Infantry Battalion, has been in military service for 17 years.

“His detachment is nestled right in the midst of civilian communities in Aliwagwag, Cateel in Davao Oriental,” the statement said.

The NPA gave the assurance that Baludoya would not be harmed in line with its policy of giving “humane and lenient treatment of prisoners of war.”

“SSgt. Baludoya was accorded the status as prisoner of war on the basis of the international humanitarian laws and the 1996 NDFP Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Protocol 2 of 1977.  As such, all the rights appurtenant to his status as prisoner of war is respected and dutifully safeguarded by his custodians,” the rebel group said.

“The arrest, capture and detention, and possible trial of prisoners of war are justifiably carried out by the NPA that is a party to the ongoing civil war, such act being clothed with legitimacy in regards to parties at war provided that the rights of the prisoners of war are respected,” it added.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla war for nearly four decades.