Cagayan de Oro City—Ten New People’s Army rebels dressed in Philippine Army uniforms abducted three uniformed Philippine National Police men and one non-uniformed personnel on Sunday, a day before President Rodrigo Duterte declared a ceasefire with the Maoist rebels during his first State of the Nation Address on Monday.
Caraga Police headquarters in Butuan City identified the kidnapped police officers as Senior Police Officer 3 Santiago Lamanilao, of the Surigao City Police Office, PO3 Jayroll Bagayas, PO2 Caleb Sinaca and NUP Rodrigo Angob of the Malimono Municipal Police Station in Surigao del Norte.
The PNP personnel were coming out of the cockpit arena of Barangay Kagtina-e in Malimono town in Surigao del Norte when they encountered the rebels. The four were off duty at the time of their abduction.
Witnesses told the police that they thought the 10 or more NPAs were soldiers, since they took the four victims to a mountainous area.
The Army’s 4th Infantry Division spokesperson Captain Joe Patrick Martinez said they will be supporting the National Police’s law enforcement operations to rescue the abducted police.
But this will be complicated by the pronouncement of President Duterte’s ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NDFP-NPA).
On Tuesday, the 4th ID started recalling their troops in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte and Sur, and Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur as a response to the ceasefire ordered by the President.
The Caraga regional police headquarters strongly denounced the abduction of their personnel.
They were put on red alert following the abduction and directed to be extra vigilant and implement target hardening security measures to preempt the NPA’s hostile plans and other threat group-related violent activities.