ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/17 May) – A policeman who was freed on Tuesday by the New People’s Army in Zamboanga del Sur yesterday said the rebels treated him well.
Police Officer 2 Faisal Juhaili also disclosed that he was being transferred from one place to the other during his captivity.
The rebels released Juhaili in Barangay Kanipaan, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur 36 days after he was seized following a raid on the police station of Tigbao town in the same province.
Juhaili, 50, 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.
“Palipat-lipat kami ng lugar,” (We moved from one place to another) Juhaili said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, as the rebels were trying to elude pursuing government forces.
Though handcuffed, Juhaili said he was treated well by his captors “who sometimes called me buddy.”
He said that during night he was made to sleep on a hammock in a makeshift hut and to sit or lie on a bench at daytime.
He stressed that no ransom was involved in his release.
He added he was neither invited to join the NPA nor warned not to return to the police service.
National Democratic Front (NDF)-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge Madlos said Wednesday that Juhaili was freed on humanitarian grounds in response to the plea of his family, relatives and friends for his immediate safe release.
Juhaili said he was fed with rice, dried fish and sardines and was not forced to eat food prohibited under Islam, his religion.
Police Regional Office-9 director Chief Supt. Estilles said he has given Juhaili a month-long vacation.
Estilles said they will study Juhaili’s request for transfer to this city since the latter is a resident of Barangay Rio Hondo.
The police official said that Juhaili, who is married to Merhama Bawa-Juhaili, had been assigned for the past 20 years in Zamboanga del Sur.
They have three sons and four daughters.
“Before I was assigned in Tigbao, my first place of assignment was in San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur,” Juhaili said.
Without mentioning the specific amount, Estilles said the command will give financial assistance to Juhaili and his family.
Meanwhile, Supt. Dexter Bubuli, PRO-9 medical group chief, said that Juhaili will first undergo trauma therapy and psychological stress debriefing before taking his vacation.
Bubuli, who examined Juhaili after the latter’s release, said that the newly-freed policeman is physically and mentally fit. (MindaNews)