NDF hails minors' release, will free 5 POWs

Rubi del Mundo
NDFP - Southern Mindanao
November 14, 2013

Provided that the Eastern Mindanao Command of the AFP suspends its military operations in at least 11 villages of Loreto town, Agusan del Sur, the National Democratic Front Southern Mindanao will release the five Prisoners of war who have been under the custody of Comval North Davao South Agusan Sub Regional Command- New People's Army since October 24.

To ensure the safety and security of the POWs and their NPA custodians, the AFP, particularly the 26th IB must withdraw from the villages of Binucayan, Balite, Pangkat, Johnson, Sta. Theresa, San Mariano, Kauswagan, Sabud, Kasapa 1, Kasapa 2, and Valentina, all in Loreto, as well as Brgy. Datu Dabaw in Laak, Compostela Valley.

No other impediments in the pardon and release are in sight for POWs Mansanitas barangay captain Lito Andalique, barangay kagawads Marvin Bantuasan, Crisanto Piodos, and Balaba Andalique, and Cafgu tribal member Pepe Subla. They have already apologized for their counter-revolutionary and anti-people activities and have pledged to desist from being active paramilitary forces who participate and condone the human rights abuses under the Oplan Bayanihan.

The 26th IB's combat operations camouflaged as rescue activities for the POWs in the last few weeks have miserably failed in securing for the release of the captives.

The military operations have only resulted in more atrocities against the masses on top of the military's killing of two peasant leaders, dropping of 24 bombs and dislocating the masses, and torturing and detaining two minor Lumads to whom they accused of killing brgy. Capt. Ramon Diogonan. In the last few weeks, this same military unit has ransacked the peasant's homes, destroyed their properties, and looted their farm animals.

In contrast to the blatant fascism demonstrated by the 26th IB and the EastMinCom, the human rights victims and the masses fought and struggled in defense of their land and families. Due to the people's clamor in Agusan, the GPH court was forced to release the two minors recently after four months of detention,  based on the merits of the case and because of the sheer idiocy of the charges filed against them.

As punishment against the fascist 26th IB and the Scout Rangers, the NPA's series of tactical offensives since July--21 assaults and five demo-explosions-- have resulted in the killing of 26 soldiers including a lieutenant from the Scout Rangers, and 14 wounded on the AFP side. Only 1 from the NPA was wounded.

Indeed, despite the display of brutality and use of superior military force by the AFP, the masses, people's militia and the revolutionary movement have persevered in fighting for justice and defending the gains of the armed struggle. The struggle against mining, palm oil and other foreign incursions of the Lumad's ancestral domain and peasant lands in Agusan continues.