STATEMENT: NPA frees Army Sgt. Reyes

The decision to release POW Sgt. Raul Reyes is based on humanitarian grounds particularly the request of his family. Also the investigating body of the NPA found no grave crimes that are individually attributable to the said prisoner of war.

The refusal of the Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP to implement a suspension of military operations (SOMO) is a clear manifestation of its negligent treatment towards their own rank-and-file personnel, paramilitary elements and non-commissioned officers captured as POWs and to the demands of their families. Had the SOMO been implemented, the POW would have been released earlier.

The full military operations by several battalions under the 1001st Brigade-AFP with the objective of rescuing the POW was rendered futile. In fact, it was effectively neutralized and frustrated by the series of attritive tactical offensives by the ALC-NPA.

The disarming of the Philippine Army-Cafgu detachment in Barangay Canidkid in Montevista in Compostela Province, the capture, detention and release of POW Army Sgt. Raul Reyes even under intense and massive AFP combat operations show that the tactical initiative is not with the enemy camp but held by the revolutionary people's army.

(Sgd) KA ARIS FRANCISCO

Spokesperson

Alejandro Lanaja Command

NPA-Southern Mindanao

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