THE Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP) rejected the demand of the New People’s Army to stop its ongoing operations in Surigao del Norte in exchange for the freedom of four kidnapped policemen.
Instead, Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya on Thursday ordered his troops to continue their operations, saying that they don’t negotiate with the NPA.
“If they want to release the policemen, they can do it without condition,” Visaya said, adding that he has assigned three battalions to run after the rebels.
The four policemen were abducted last week following an attack staged on the municipal police station of Alegria in Surigao del Norte. They were identified as PO3 Vic Concon, PO1 Rey Morales, PO1 Joen Zabala and PO1 Edito Roquino.
The two policemen wounded in the attack were PO2 Reuben Salino and PO3 Romero Dagsa.
Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said that two NPAs were killed and two government security forces were wounded in the incident.
He added that the NPA also carted away the station’s firearms that include six M16 rifles, two M14, four shotguns, four 9mm pistols, among others, assorted ammunition, P51,000 cash and other belongings, like cellphones and laptops.
Police Regional Office 13 chief Senior Supt. Pedro Ubaldo Jr. said the Surigao del Sur governor has formed a crisis management committee to work out the safe release of the abducted policemen.