By CPP Information Bureau
The New People's Army (NPA) custodial unit released today video and audio clips of two NPA prisoners of war in Southern Mindanao. In the video and audio clips, POWs Corporal Delfin Largo Sarocam (Serial #797683) and Private First Class Jayson Burgos Valenzuela (Serial # 872545) of the 57th Infantry Battalion, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured their families they are safe and well.
They called on the AFP to stop the futile so-called military rescue operations so as not to derail their possible early release.
Isabel Santiago, spokesperson of the Herminio Alfonso Command-Front 53 Operations Command of the NPA-Southern Mindanao said that POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela are "undergoing investigations for serious crimes they may have committed against the people and the revolution in the course of implementing the regime's vicious counterrevolutionary war." Santiago said that the rights of POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela are fully respected as prisoners of war; and being treated humanely in accordance with the war protocols and the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela were arrested April 14 at Sitio Dalinding, Barangay Datu Inda in President Roxas town, North Cotabato. They are part of the AFP's special operations team unleashed in North Cotabato implementing the US-Aquino counterrevolutionary plan 'Bayanihan.' The AFP special operations in North Cotabato are aimed at intimidating and harassing local residents, in the process affecting their livelihood. Under the anti-people 'Bayanihan' and similar to Oplan Bantay Laya, local residents are forced to join the AFP-enforced Barangay Defense System amid rampant harassment and extra-judicial killings against civilians among other rights violations and crimes against humanity.
"AFP combat cum rescue missions, at best, are futile; and would only derail the expeditious and thorough investigation on POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela and the possible early reunion with their families," Santiago said.