In Southern Mindanao, Safe Release of Prisoner of War is Being Foiled by Military Arrogance

By Bulatlat

The 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines “is actively opposing and closing the door” to the possibility of an early, safe and orderly release of the New People’s Army (NPA) prisoner of war (POW) Cpl. Dominador Alegre of the 72nd Infantry, said Simon Santiago, spokesperson of the Regional Political Department of the New People’s Army-Southern Mindanao in an emailed statement. The military is endangering the release of Cpl. Alegre by launching military operations.

According to Santiago, they are investigating with appropriate organs of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Southern Mindanao whether POW Cpl. Dominador Alegre of the 72nd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army-AFP has violated human rights and international humanitarian law or committed other counter-revolutionary acts. While doing so, Santiago said the “revolutionary movement has always maintained a policy of giving the utmost consideration to the early, safe and orderly release of POWs if there is basis for it.

Cpl. Alegre is reported to be in good condition as his custodial unit upholds the NPA policy of humane and lenient treatment towards prisoners of war, said Santiago.

But as the 7th Special Operations Company-AFP and the 25th IB-AFP conduct their “rescue operation” to this day, Santiago said the military has been committing human rights abuses against civilians in Monkayo, Compostela Valley. He cited mounting threats and harassments as a certain civilian named Eddie Tayag of Barangay Casoon was arrested “without just basis.”

Santiago said it is the 10th ID-AFP’s “condescending and irrational attitude towards its own personnel that is blocking the possibility for an early, safe and orderly release of Alegre.” (Bulatlat.com)

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