April 21, 2017
The custodial force of the New People’s Army in Front 16 – North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR) has long been ready to release prisoner of war (POW) Pfc. Edwin Salan of the 30th IB PA, in accordance with the call of the CPP and NDFP to release POWs in support of the continuing peace talks between the GRP-NDFP. The NPA’s release of POW Pfc. Salan is also in response to the appeal of his parents and relatives along with sectors working for peace. Recall that Pfc. Edwin Salan was captured by Red fighters of Front 16 in Brgy. Budlingon, Alegria, Surigao del Norte last January 29 of this year. Pfc. Salan was part of the 30th IBPA, AFP group launching COPD operations in the municipality for some time.
Cooperation is needed from the local AFP and PNP commands, along with the local government of Surigao del Norte, for the safe and effective release of POW Salan. Such cooperation will be demonstrated by their implementation of a suspension of military operations (SOMO) of AFP troops and suspension of police operations (SOPO) of PNP troops in the municipalities of Alegria, Placer, Claver, Tubod and Gigaquit in Surigao del Norte. The NPA and NDFP will not allow the lives of the POW, his family and that of the third party facilitators and witnesses, to be endangered which may happen without the SOMO and SOPO. As such, the POW release will happen with the implementation of a SOMO and SOPO by the AFP and PNP within these five (5) municipalities.
In line with this, we encourage the parents and relatives of Pfc. Salan, the personalities working for peace and all concerned individuals to call upon GRP President Duterte to act for the immediate release of the POW. We also challenge the local officials of Surigao del Norte to creat conditions to ensure the safe and effective release of Pfc. Salan.
The AFP and PNP must show that they are seriously supporting measures towards the achievement of peace and be sincere in ensuring the safe release of their soldier who was arrested by the NPA. We challenge them to declare a SOMO and SOPO for the immediate safe and effective release of Pfc. Salan to the third party facilitators.
Ka Maria Malaya