4 policemen meet their families after 19 days of captivity by NPAs
KITCHARAO, Agusan del Norte, July 29 (PIA) - PO3 Vic Calubag Concon, PO1 Rey O’niel Morales, PO1 Joen B. Zabala and PO1 Edito F. Roquino finally met their families after being freed by the New People’s Army (NPA) on Tuesday.
At around 3:58 p.m., said police officers were finally released after 19th day of captivity following a negotiation between the national government officials and the NPA-National Democratic Fund (NDF) - North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMRC).
The four police officers, together with the negotiating team and some local officials which include Agusan del Norte Gov. Ma. Rosedell Amante-Matba, and Butuan City Mayor and concurrent Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) chair Ferdinand Amante Jr., arrived at the Kitcharao Central Elementary School around 5:05 p.m. on the same date.
The freed policemen were then received by Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Alan Purisima, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPPAP) Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles at the said elementary school.
Hours before the negotiation, Bishop Rhee Timbang of the Philippine Independent Church, one of the third party negotiators, relayed during his interview that the wives of the four policemen who were held captives by the NPA came to their church and asked for their help to negotiate with the NPA for the release of their husbands.
"The third party negotiators really want the safe release of the four policemen who were held captives by the NPA. We also see the effort of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas to attain peace talks with the other party," Timbang articulated.
Negotiations for the safe release of the said police officers scored a major breakthrough after Sec. Roxas secured the commitment of the NDF to free their captives once the military and police agree to a five-day ceasefire in the six towns of Surigao del Norte.
It can be recalled that the four policemen were held captive by the NPA after the rebels raided on the Alegria municipal police station in Surigao del Norte last July 10.
Meanwhile, Sec. Roxas also awarded the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting to PO2 Romero B. Dagsa and PO2 Reuben C. Salino. They were wounded in action while defending the Alegria Municipal Police Station during the attack of the NPA rebels on July 10, 2014 in the aforementioned police station. (JPG/NCLM/SDR/PIA-Caraga)
AgNor lady guv assures increase in funding for Red Cross local chapter
By Venus L. Garcia
BUTUAN CITY, July 29 (PIA) – The provincial government of Agusan del Norte (AgNor) through governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba has held out assurance in granting a hundred thousand increase of its funding aid to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Agusan del Norte-Butuan City Chapter, making it P300,000 from the regular amount of P200,000 each year.
The PRC local chapter through its chairperson Atty. Felixberto Guiritan and board member Crispin Young expressed their gratitude for the continued support of the provincial government during its PRC board of directors and staff’s courtesy call to governor Matba today at the provincial Capitol office, this city.
Aside from this subsidy, the prior appeal of the chapter to obtain it own office structure will soon be realized after all the necessary requirements are processed and prepared.
“In effect of property donation, a portion of the government-owned lot where we presently occupy will officially be awarded to PRC and then erect a new building in no time,” said PRC chapter administrator Teodoro Cairo.
Meanwhile, Cairo informed the governor of its ongoing support to the people within the province in terms of blood donations, youth development, and disaster relief operations. He also introduced to the lady governor the chapter’s activities including its participation in the community health programs and the usual conduct of first aid trainings.
Gov. Matba is grateful for the local PRC’s sustained effort in providing services to the constituents of Agusan and Butuan.
In the meantime, Atty. Guiritan relayed that the chapter is one of the regional blood centers in Caraga region to examine and distribute safety blood to the different hospitals covered by its areas of responsibility.
He then personally pinned the Philippine Red Cross brooch to governor Matba as recognition for her being the PRC honorary chairperson. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)