Just hours before President Duterte gave his SONA speech in Manila, demanding the Armed Forces of the Philippines to stop battling with the Communist rebels, three police and one civilian asset were abducted by NPA Guerrillas.
A guerrilla spokesman said they arrested the officers for “President Duterte” adding that “the arrests that we have made were in line with President Duterte’s call for organisation to help in combating these pests in our communities, particularly those scalawags.”
President Duterte made the call for the NPA to assist him in ridding the police and military of scalawags.
The capture of the three police officers came on Sunday afternoon in the town of Malimono, Surigao del Norte
The officers who were kidnapped where SPO3 Jayroll Bayagas, SPO3 Santiago Lamanilao, PO2 Caleb Sinaca and Rodrigo Angob, a civilian police asset.
Another NPA informant said the men were indiscriminately taken, and are not part of any kind of clean up efforts in line with Duterte’s orders.
But the NPA contends they were taken because of the overwhelming complaints lodged against them by locals. The officers have been cited for complaints involving protection and illegal activities throughout the Surigao del Norte area.
NPA spokesperson Ka Jared said “These people are clearly scalawags because when they were apprehended by our team, they were inside a cockpit.”
The four men were taken in the village of Cagtinae during its fiesta celebration when the men were disarmed and take away by 10 NPA members at 2pm on Sunday.
Local authorities condemned the abduction, calling it an “atrocity [committed by a] lawless armed group.”
The Southern Mindanao Command, located in Davao City, said they are continuing efforts to locate and rescue another police officer that was kidnapped by the NPA in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental.
The conflicting reports in this kidnapping by NPA rebels is being closely guarded – the NPA spokesperson said that the men will be judged by a hearing at such time their sentence will be handed down on them.