Wife of cop held captive by NPA appeals for his safe return

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 25 Aug) – The wife of a police officer still being held captive by the New People’s Army (NPA) has appealed to the group to release him unharmed.

Jessa Catalan, wife of Police Officer 1 Bristol Catalan of the Makilala Police, said two weeks after her husband’s abduction by NPA guerillas, she has yet to hear updates from the group.

“No calls, no text, no message whatsoever. I face a blank wall,” said Jessa.

Catalan is the family’s sole breadwinner, according to Jessa.

“We have no other source of income, except his salary as being a policeman. I don’t know how to make both ends meet,” she stressed.

The trauma brought about by the abduction made Catalan’s children to decide to stop going to school, Jessa said.

On August 14, Catalan was driving his motorcycle with two of his children on board when six armed men, who introduced themselves as NPA members, flagged him down at Purok 4, Barangay Katipunan in this city.

The Catalan children saw their father being spirited away by the armed guerillas and told that the NPA members were bringing their father somewhere to undergo interrogation.

Catalan was believed among the policemen who joined the Army in arresting on August 1 an NPA leader whose operations include the town of Makilala and Bansalan in Davao del Sur.

The Makilala PNP and the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO) refused to confirm such report.

On August 24, Makilala Mayor Rudy Caoagdan appealed to the NPA to release Catalan to his family.

Caoagdan believed Catalan has done nothing wrong against the communist movement.

“It’s not a sin to become a policeman. Catalan has been serving the PNP for several decades now and has been very committed to his job,” said the mayor.

Catalan is the second police officer in North Cotabato abducted by the NPA since 2016.

In June 1 last year, they kidnapped Police Officer 1 Romeo Solana of the intelligence unit of the CPPO. A month later, his body was recovered in a remote village in the city. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)