2 cops abducted at 'NPA checkpoints' in Bukidnon
MANILA, Philippines – Two policemen were abducted by "unidentified armed men" on Sunday, April 3, en route to Cagayan de Oro City, police confirmed to Rappler.
In a text message, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said based on an initial investigation, the armed men blocked part of the Sayre Highway in Capitan Bayong, Impasugong town, Bukidnon.
Mayor said Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Warren Coñales of the Impasugong Municipal Police Station and Police Officer 3 (PO3) Edwin Panis Castor of the Wao Municipal Police Station were abducted.
The two cops are now considered "prisoners of war," according to the New People's Army (NPA). Two other policemen were likewise abducted but later released for "humanitarian considerations," according to the NPA.
NPA-North Central Mindanao Regional Command spokesman Allan Juanito said they would observe the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in handling the two cops.
According to an internal report sourced by Rappler, the NPA had set up a checkpoint in the same Impasugong barangay.
Blockades were also reportedly set up in the following areas:
- Barangay Tikalaan in Talakag, Bukidnon
- Barangay Santiago in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
- Barangay Rojales in Carmen, Agusan del Norte
- Barangay Olave in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte
- Barangay Lingayao in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte
- Barangay Mandahilag in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental
Both the military and Juanito confirmed the existence of the checkpoints. (READ: NPA to candidates: Coordinate with us for 'smooth' campaigning) – with reports from Bea Cupin and Bobby Lagsa/Rappler.com