The Philippine Army on Sunday admitted it has not determined the exact location of the deputy police chief abducted by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in North Cotabato last December 28.
On Friday the NPA issued a statement calling Police Insp. Menardo Cui as “prisoner of war” (POW), weeks after he was taken at gunpoint in a store on his way to President Roxas police station.
Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman of NPA Southern Mindanao, said the NPA under the Mount Apo Sub-Regional Command has declared Cui a POW.
“POW Cui, as with other previous prisoners of war, is being given political education that includes short courses on the history and problems of Philippine society and the need for people’s war while under the custody of the NPA,” Sanchez said.
He also accused the Army’s 39th and 15th Infantry Battalions and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the area for conducting “unlawful search of several civilian homes.”
Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said his unit and the PNP have been conducting intelligence operations to determine the location where the communist rebels were holding Cui.
“Based on our reports, he is being kept somewhere in North Cotabato. Our effort in coordination with the PNP is to locate him and conduct operations,” Clement told reporters in a text message.
Asked if the Army has determined the exact location of Cui, Clement replied: “negative.”