ZAMBOANGA CITY: Two police officers from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces were captured and being held “prisoners of war” by the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
A rebel spokesman, Roel Agustin, on Friday said both Police Officer 1 Alfredo Basabica and Senior Police Officer 2 George Rupinta are being interrogated by the NPA.
Basabica was captured at a rebel checkpoint in Barangay Panansialan, Compostela town, while traveling to Davao City.
Rupinta was seized in the town of Lupon in Davao Oriental.
The NPA released a video of Rupinta appealing to the government to stop the military offensives against the rebel group and resume stalled peace talks with the communists.
Rupinta told his family that the rebels were treating him fairly and that they have nothing to worry about his safety in the hands of his captors.
The rebels accused the military of murdering innocent civilians suspected of being rebels or supporters of the NPA in the provinces.
There was no immediate reaction from the military or police on the capture of Basabica and Rupinta, whose capture came only days after security officials said at least eight rebels died in a firefight in Davao.
Troops recovered the bodies of the slain rebels and six automatic rifles and a machine gun.
Peace talks between the government and the communist rebels stalled with the NPA accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of failing to release all political prisoners as a precondition to the signing of a ceasefire agreement.
The military blamed the rebels for deadly attacks despite the peace negotiations.