NPA releases 4 jail officers

THE New People’s Army (NPA) released in North Cotabato today the four personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) captured by the rebels in Bukidnon last July, reports said.

In a statement, the National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao said they released the four jail officers to the International Committee of the Red Cross on “humanitarian grounds in recognition of the various appeals” made by various groups, including the families of the NPA’s “prisoners of war.”

Released were Jail Inspector Eric D. Llamasares (Ozamiz jail warden, of Philippine National Police Academy Class 2007), Jail Inspector Murphy B. Todyog (PNPA Class 2008), Special Jail Officer 2 Rogelio E. Begontes and Jail Officer 1 Rolando D. Bajuyo Jr.

The four jail officials were captured in Kitaotao, Bukidnon before dawn of July 21 as the NPA staged a daring rescue operation on an alleged rebel bomb expert identified as Dennis Rodenas, who was being transported to the Davao Penal Colony along with eight other inmates.

GMA TV News reported that the BJMP personnel were released in Magpet town in North Cotabato today. They were then brought to the Bishop’s Palace in Kidapawan City, where they were welcomed by Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza and BJMP director Rosendo Dial.

“The four POWs were treated humanely and leniently; their health and welfare were ensured, and their democratic rights were respected,” the NDF said in its statement. (MindaNews)