Two prisoners of war (POWs) are recently held by a unit of the Conrado Heredia Command-Front 20 Operations Command of the New People’s Army. Sgt. Napoleon P. Gerasmio of the Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM- Philippine Army, SN 760645) and Sgt. Huberto C. Corbita of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM- AFP, SN 780628) were separately arrested at a checkpoint set up by a platoon of the CHC-NPA on April 24, 2008 in Sitio Mabatas, Barangay Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province. One .45 cal pistol was seized from Sgt. Gerasmio.
The two POWs are undergoing investigation to find out any culpability for serious violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and other war crimes that they may have committed in the conduct of the AFP’s past and present counter-revolutionary war and anti-people campaigns of repression. They are being given humane and lenient treatment befitting their status as POWs. Such is in accordance with the NPA’s implementation of Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions, the GRP- NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAR-HR-IHL) and the NPA’s Three Rules of Discipline and Eight Points of Attention. Attempts by the AFP to rescue the POWs will only heighten the worry for the POWs’ families as it will put their security in jeopardy.
The Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the NPA shall make further announcements pertinent to the POWs in the soonest time possible.
(Sgd) RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New People’s Army