KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 4 Dec) – The New People’s Army (NPA) released Monday a policeman from North Cotabato they held captive for 110 days.
Released in the hinterlands of the municipality of Magpet Monday morning was PO1 Bristol Catalan, of the police force of the municipality of Makilala, who was abducted last Aug. 17 in Kidapawan City as he was driving his motorcycle with his two sons onboard.
Kidapawan City Councilor Ruby Padilla-Sison confirmed the release. She and some members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod joined the group who witnessed when the NPA rebels turned over Catalan to his family.
Sison said the top ranks of the NPA issued the release order after they found no reason to continue holding Catalan as a prisoner of war.
A convoy of vehicles from the media, local officials, church people, family and friends of Catalan left the Bishop’s Palace at Barangay Balindong here 9:30 a.m. They arrived at Barangay Bagumbayan in Magpet town to fetch the policeman around 10:30 a.m. and went back to the Bishop’s Palace 1:30 p.m. where a press conference was held.
The family of Catalan, in the press conference, expressed gratitude to those who have convinced the NPAs to release the police officer.
They said they have waited for so long after the NPAs released on Sept. 25 a video showing Catalan was alive and was kept well while in captivity.
Catalan told media that when he was informed he would soon be released he was so happy because “finally, I would be with my family.”
His wife, Gigi, was full of tears seeing her husband physically fit and well and now back in their home. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)