Philippines: New People’s Army releases prisoner of war, demands freedom for all political prisoners

Map of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. The boxed area is where the Moro population is concentrated. As you can see from the inset map, the Philippines occupies a strategic location for US war planning aimed at countering the increasing projection of military power in Asia by the Chinese imperialists.

 

[Some background to this press release and the revolutionary movement in the Philippines: The New People’s Army is the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has over 100 guerilla fronts in all of the 11 major islands of the Philippines. The CPP/NPA has established People’s Democratic Governments in many of these fronts.  The Compostela Valley guerilla zone mentioned in this press release is an area in southeast Mindanao, one of the two largest islands in the Philippines. The Moro people are the oppressed Muslim people who live in large parts of Mindanao and the islands south of Mindanao. The AFP is the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which conducts brutal military operations against the NPA and its popular base of support according to US counter-insurgency military doctrine. The AFP receives hundreds of millions of dollars in US military aid annually, conducts regular “joint exercises” with US marines and naval forces, and receives training from US Special Forces units who operate out of a US military base in Zamboanga, Mindanao.

After the US imperialists opened a “second front in the war against terrorism” in the Philippines in 2002, they inserted US forces into the Moro areas of the Philippines in the name of fighting against the Abu-Sayyaf, a small fundamentalist Islamic group that the CIA had armed and supported to fight against Soviet imperialist forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The real targets of the US military forces were the CPP/NPA guerilla fronts  in Mindanao and a Moro organization fighting for independence, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In order to stop the growth of the CPP/NPA and the MILF, the Arroyo regime and now the Aquino government have ordered the AFP to coordinate its counter-insurgency operations with the US military base at Zamboanga in spite of the Constitution’s prohibition on foreign military bases on Philippines soil.–Frontlines ed]

Rigoberto F. Sanchez, Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command, Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command, New People’s Army

From Philippine Revolution (www.philippinerevolution.com),  28 November 2010

The Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army has ordered the release of Cpl. Daiem Amsali Hadjaie of the 25th Infantry Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division-Armed Forces of the Philippines (Serial No. 813144) after 12 days of captivity as prisoner of war of the Conrado Heredia Command-Front 20 Operations Command-NPA.

The CHC-NPA custodial unit undertakes POW Cpl. Hadjaie’s safe and orderly release today, 28 November, in the guerilla territory in Compostela Valley Province.

The order to release Cpl. Hadjaie is an exercise of the revolutionary forces’ own political authority and based on humanitarian grounds. This is consistent with the revolutionary movement’s long-standing policy of humane and lenient treatment of POWs and its serious adherence to the NDFP [National Democratic Front of the Philippines] Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol 2 of 1977.

His release is giving due consideration to the appeals made by sincere individuals, a Moro organization and allies, including local officials of the Aquino government. POW Cpl. Hadjaie’s case is being archived.

Upon his capture and detention, the NPA custodial unit fully respected his rights attendant to his status as prisoner of war in consonance with the international humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions; and sensitive to his religious persuasions. He was provided his necessary health and medical care under guerilla conditions; and his well-being and safety were guaranteed inside the guerilla territories of the People’s Democratic Government.

The worn-out AFP  black propaganda on such NPA legitimate action as “hostage-taking” and “kidnapping” only further exposes the murderous character of the AFP and its ignorance to the protocols of war. This is not surprising for a mercenary AFP which is responsible for the torture, planting of evidence, enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings not only of captured NPA combatants but also against mass activists, plain civilians and non combatants. This is not surprising for the arrogant AFP which has launched failed rescue cum military operations that deliberately put the lives of captured AFP soldiers in danger.

Cpl. Hadjaie’s safe release and reunion with his family — along with the numerous other AFP combatants held as POWs and safely released — should serve as a challenge to President Benigno Aquino III of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to release all political prisoners in the country.

POW Cpl. Hadjaie’s arrest on 16 November in sitio Mabatas, Barangay Upper Ulip, Monkayo, ComVal should serve as a warning to those who act as protectors — in the guise of AFP peace and development teams or Investment Defense Force — of big plantation, logging and destructive mining interests anywhere in the region.

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