STATEMENT: NPA holds captive soldier, 2 CAA members in Montevista


The three were arrested during the October 7 NPA tactical offensive that successfully raided the 72nd Infantry Battalion-AFP detachment in Canidkid, Montevista in Compostela Valley Province.  Sixteen (16) high-powered rifles consisting of six M-14, eight Garand rifles, one M-16 as well as a .357 caliber pistol, including several rounds of ammunitions and military equipment, were seized during the NPA offensive.  Not a single bullet was fired. Army detachment commander Sgt. Reyes and para-military members Mahumas and Villaflor are being held as prisoners of war.  As part of the Philippine government's war machinery, they are facing preliminary investigations for the complaints filed against them that may constitute war crimes and violations against International Humanitarian Law and against civilians in Montevista, Compostela Valley Province. Paramilitary Mahumas and Villaflor who double as local barangay officials had been thoroughly active in local para-military recruitment, and had been instrumental in putting up military detachments in the Montevista villages. The Philippine military units deployed in the area, the 72nd and the 60th IB-AFP had been notorious in committing grave human rights abuses and violations.  The NPA accords Mahumas, Reyes and Villaflor their rights to humane treatment and due process while in detention. This is in accordance to their status as a Prisoner of War under the war protocols, the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAR-HR-IHL), and the 1996 NDFP Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Protocol 1 of 1977. The NPA's track record in handling prisoners of war is proven just and humane contrary to the mercenary AFP that subjects their captives to physical and mental torture, intimidation, punishment, sexual abuse, inhumane treatment and murder. The series of victories reaped by the people's army through an ever-widening and deepening mass base is indicative of the failure of the murderous and anti-people Oplan Bantay Laya II of the bankrupt and rotten US-Arroyo regime.  

Alejandro Lanaja Command
New People's Army
Southern Mindanao