NPA acknowledges POW Ongachen’s apology, readies his release from custody

The Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao has acknowledged the admission of guilt and subsequent public apology of Prisoner of War Police Chief Inspector Arnold S. Ongachen, badge no. 018629. He has admitted to having made an error of judgment by keeping in his possession a sachet of shabu which they took from a “test buy” operation. He has also apologized to the masses, the government of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and the CPP-NPA-NDF.

[Read POW Ongachen video message: NPA rehabilitates drug users]

His custodial unit has reported that preparations are underway for his safe and orderly release. Following the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire of the Central Committee of the CPP and the National Operations Command of the NPA and the reciprocation of the GPH of its own ceasefire, the custodial unit is nevertheless ready for any untoward event that may endanger POW Ongachen and the Red army’s safety.

POW Ongachen was arrested during the successful raid of the Gov. Generoso Municipal Police Station on May 29.

During his custody, POW Ongachen has declared willingness to support the NPA’s campaign against the prevalent drug trade in Gov. Generoso and Davao Oriental province. He was likewise given political education and has seen first hand how the NPA conducts its rehabilitation of drug users. He has spoken well of the masses’ support to the Red army and the people’s war and appealed to his principal, Pres. Duterte, to pursue the negotiations that will discuss the roots of the civil war.

The pending release of POW Ongachen along with another prisoner of war Michael B. Grande are a gesture of goodwill on the part of the revolutionary movement and optimism for the resumption of the peace negotiations.

While we deem the recent release of the NDFP consultants a positive development, the remaining political prisoners all over the country should be released immediately and without condition by the Duterte government in compliance with the CARHRIHL. These Red fighters, activists and civilians who were incarcerated on the ridiculous weight of trumped-up charges have suffered enough injustice under the fascist Arroyo and Aquino III regimes.

Below is the complete transcript of POW Ongachen’s public apology:

Magandang hapon po. Humihingipoako ng tawad sa masang Pilipino lalong-lalo na kay Pres. Rodrigo RoaDuterte, sa PNP organization at sa CPP-NPA-NDF sa pagkakamaliko pong paghawak ng isang sachet ng shabu na nakuha naming sa test buy nahindiakodapatanghahawaknito.

Sa dahilan pong tiwalang-tiwalapo ako sa sarili ko na hindi ko po ito gagamitin dahil hindi po ako user. At ito po ang naging dahilan kung bakit tumagal ng ganito ang pag-kustodiya sa akin. Inuulit kopo, hindi po ako user, hindi po ako pusher at lalong-lalo na po hindi po ako protektor ng droga. Sana po mapatawad po ninyo po ako. Maraming salamat po.

Good afternoon. I am apologizing to the Filipino people, especially to Pres. Rodrigo RoaDuterte, to the PNP organization and to the CPP-NPA-NDF for the mistake I have committed of keeping in my possession a sachet of shabu that we took during a test buy. I should not have been the one who kept it.

This was because I am confident that I will not use it because I am not a drug user. And this is the reason why my custody took a long time. I am reiterating that I am not a user, I am not a pusher and, most especially, I am not a protector of the drug trade. I hope you will all forgive me. Thank you very much.


NPA arrests abusive PNP officer in Davao Oriental

The New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao has declared arrested PNP officer PO1 Michael B. Grande, Badge No. 205727, as Prisoner of War in accordance with provisions stipulated in the Geneva Conventions and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

POW Grande, 29, was arrested by Red fighters belonging to the ComVal – Davao Gulf Sub-Regional Command in Lupon, Davao Oriental on June 19, 2016 and has since been under the custody of the NPA. His issued firearm was also seized. POW Grande was assigned in Banay-banay Municipal Station at the time of his arrest.

As a member of the reactionary police force, POW Grande has admitted to have mauled, harassed and intimidated at gunpoint several civilians in Banay-banay. Furthermore, along with the whole of the PNP in Banay-banay, he regularly received payoffs from illegal gambling in the area. He is currently being investigated for these violations and other possible crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement.

We assure the wife, children and relatives of POW Grande that he is being leniently treated by his custodians, as is the policy of the NPA toward captured enemy members. We encourage them to appeal to POW Grande’s superiors, especially GPH Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, to order a let-up on the AFP’s so-called rescue operations as they only endanger his security. We are releasing a short video footage of POW Grande in deference to his wish of assuring his family of his safety.

In arresting POW Grande, the NPA exercises its mandate to ensure the protection of the masses, especially the Lumads and poor peasants who bear the brunt of fascist and mercenary abuses of reactionary police and military forces. It likewise upholds the integrity of the People’s Democratic Government in guaranteeing that Red territories are safe from and free of violators of people’s rights.

As we anticipate the formal resumption of the peace negotiations, the NPA consistently shows its commitment to the process in its paramount adherence to international conventions and previous agreements such as the CARHRIHL. No other armed force in the country has unfailingly treated with leniency and respect its captured enemies and, in the face of relentless AFP and PNP attacks, safely and orderly turned them over to their families following due procedure of revolutionary justice system.

Below is the complete transcript of POW Grande’s footage:

Ako si PO1 Michael Ballenas Grande, nagpuyo sa Caganganan, Banay-banay, Davao Oriental, na-assign sa Banay-banay Municipal Police Station. Badge no. nako, 205727.

Nadakpan ko atong June 19 sa Bagumbayan, Lupon, Davao Oriental atbang sa Sterling. Ug kato akong kaso nga naka-agrabyado ko og tao, nangayo gyud ko og pasaylo ato tungod kay nakalapas gyud ko sa akong gibuhat.

Ug mensahe nako sa akong pamilya nga dili angay mabalaka kay isip usa ka POW o Prisoner of War sa NPA, nagatamod gyud sila og balaod sa gubat nga dili gyud angay dagmalan ang bihag nila sa gubat. Ug gimaayo gyud ko nila og tratar diria isip usa ka bihag nila.

Mensahe nako sa gobyerno ni Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, nga ipatuman na gyud tong hinabing pangkalinaw nga peace talk, nga ipatuman pud niya ang SOMO ug SOPO kay para sa hapsay sa akong pag-relis. Ug akong kahimtang karon diri, maayo gyud kaayo. Gimaayo gyud ko nila pag-atiman, pagtratar isip usa ka bihag diri sa gubat.

Maayong adlaw ug maayong buntag sa inyong tanan. Daghang salamat.

I am PO1 Michael Ballenas Grande, residing in Caganganan, Banay-banay, Davao Oriental, assigned in Banay-banay Municipal Police Station. My badge no. is 205727.

I was arrested on June 19 in Bagumbayan, Lupon, Davao Oriental, in front of Sterling. Regarding my case for which I assaulted another person, I am sincerely apologizing for the violation I have committed.

My message for my family is to not worry about me for as a POW or Prisoner of War of the NPA, they adhere to the rules of war which is to not harm a prisoner of war. They treat me well as their prisoner.

My message for Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s government is to resume the peace talk, and to undertake the Suspension of Military Offensives (SOMO) and Suspension of Police Offensives (SOPO) for my orderly release. My situation here is well. They treat me leniently as a prisoner of war.

Good day and good morning to everyone. Thank you very much.