Release of POW an act of goodwill in support to the GPH-NDFP formal peace talks
RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command
The Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People's Army has ordered the release of prisoner of war (POW) PO2 Jerwel Montecillo Tugade (Serial No. 146761). His release is anchored on the international humanitarian law and an act of goodwill in support to the resumption of the formal peace negotiations between the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH, formerly GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
POW PO2 Tugade is a member of the 1106th Provincial Mobile Group of the Philippine National Police assigned in the Banay Banay PNP Municipal Station. He was declared prisoner of war after his arrest in a mobile checkpoint by the Wilfredo Zapanta Command-Front 18 Operations Command-NPA (Wizac-NPA) mounted on 7 February, 5 pm, along the Tagum-Mati national highway in Barangay Pintatagan, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.
The MAC-NPA issued the release order following the investigation done by revolutionary authorities were submitted that cleared POW PO2 Tugade of direct involvement and participation in anti-people acts and violating human rights. The MAC-NPA has ordered the Wizac-NPA custodial unit to undertake preparations and procedures for the safe and orderly release of POW PO2 Tugade.
The implementation of the release order shall be based on the assessment of POW PO2 Tugade's NPA custodial unit on the ground situation, particularly the movement and forward deployment of PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops.
The revolutionary movement is giving utmost importance to the safety of POW PO2 Tugade and the receiving party to effect the eventual reunion with his family.