Release of 3 prisoners of war (POW) in Surigao del Norte cancelled due to AFP’s refusal totemporarily pull-out COPD operatives

Ka Maria Malaya
NDFP-NEMR
15 January 2015

The NDFP-NEMR regrets to inform the relatives and friends, the Third Party Facilitators and the general public that the release on January 17, 2015 of the three (3) Prisoners of War, namely PO1 Jorie M. Amper, PO3 Democrito B. Polvorosa, and PO1 Marichel U. Contemplo, negotiated between the NDF and the emissaries of DILG, is cancelled due chiefly to the AFP’s refusal to temporarily withdraw their COPD operatives from the area.


To facilitate the safe and orderly release of the 3 POWs and to avoid possible encounter between the NPA and the AFP, the NDFP-NEMR requested that AFP units conducting COPD operations in Barangays Sico-sico and Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte to temporarily withdraw to their base camp in Brgy. Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, even as the personnel of the Brgy. Sico-sico detachment remain in place.


Despite negotiations, Brig. Gen. Jonathan Ponce, head of the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade, refused to meet this request, a position that seriously endangered not only the lives of the 3 POWs but of their family and loved ones and others who wish to attend their actual release. Having been informed of this, the NDFP-NEMR deemed it necessary to call off the release and ordered the NPA Custodial Force to relocate to a safer place.

The release of the 3 POWs was meant to be a gesture of peace during the Papal visit and in response to the ardent request of the family to be reunited with their loved ones. This is also a confidence building-measure for the resumption of the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH.

With these three reasons, the AFP should not have found it difficult to consider the simple request of the NPA Custodial Force, the family, the local Third Party Facilitators, the Local Crisis Committee of the Surigao del Norte province, the Chairman of the Peace and Order Council of Caraga Mayor Ferdinand “Jun”Amante and, most especially, the office of the DILG Secretary. In spite of the AFP’s outright refusal, we thank all those who genuinely gave effort to somehow make the release possible.