NPA-captured police officer asks for release

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DAVAO CITY: A video clip showing the chief of police of Governor Generoso town in Davao Oriental, captured during a raid last month, was released by the communist rebels Wednesday as proof of life.

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The New People’s Army (NPA) said Chief Insp. Arnold Olgachen is currently being investigated for his alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade.

The rebels have declared Olgachen as prisoner of war. He is being tried before a kangaroo court after a packet of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was seized from him during the raid.

“POW Olgachen is currently being investigated for his involvement in the unbridled illegal drug trade in Governor Generoso town and in Davao Oriental,” Rigoberto Sanchez, a rebel spokesman said.

In the video, Olgachen, wearing a pair of red short pants and black t-shirt and sitting inside a thatched hut, said he is being treated fairly and being fed by his captors. He also appealed to the rebels to free him soon.

“I am PCI Arnold Olgachen, Chief of Police of Governor Generoso Municipal Police Station, which was attacked last May 29, 2016. I am currently a prisoner of war of the NPA. I am doing okay, they did not harm me. They treat me humanely, they provide food for me. I am hoping they will release, that is my request to them,” he said.

The rebels also released a photo of the drugs seized from Olgachen.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has given up efforts to secure the safe release of Olgachen after learning from the NPA that they confiscated drugs from the police officer.

Duterte, who publicly declared war on illegal drugs, said the fate of Olgachen is now up to the NPA. “You have a kangaroo court. Sentence him to 20 years of hard labor,” Duterte said. “I said I’d be harsh (on illegal drugs). I’m sorry for that guy.”

Duterte had earlier appealed to the rebels to immediately free Olgachen.

Sanchez said the town has been identified as a gateway of the illegal drug trade in the province, and that government officials have ignored the existence of the nefarious activities there. He also accused the 28th Infantry Battalion of sabotaging the NPA’s planned raid on a laboratory being run by drug syndicates in the village of Tibanban.

He also accused politicians and other military and police officers as involved in the nefarious trade, and warned that they are now targets of the NPA’s war on illegal drugs.

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