Duterte: Reds promised to release remaining captives
CLARK, Pampanga — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the communist rebels have promised to release the four remaining prisoners of war in their custody.
“Sabi nila in the next two days,” Duterte said in a speech before the national convention of Prosecutors League in the Philippines here.
He said peace process adviser Jesus Dureza and government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III confirmed this to him over the phone on Wednesday.
The President also told Dureza and Bello to tell aging communist leader Jose Ma. “Joma” Sison to come home to the Philippines.
“You tell Sison—because he is sick, he is very sick—he can come home. I will give him freedom of movement. I will not arrest him. I’ll even pay for his hospitalization kung gusto niya,” he said.
Sison is in The Netherlands for political asylum after he left the Philippines in 1987 after the Marcos regime.
Duterte reiterated his demands for the communist rebels to stop collecting revolutionary tax and claiming any territory.
National Democratic Front (NDF) panel chair Fidel Agcaoili said in a press conference in the Netherlands that the New People’s Army will release the following police and soldiers:
- PFC Edwin Salan, captured in Alegria, Surigao del Norte on January 29;2. Sgt. Solaiman Calucop captured in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat on February 2;
3. PFC Samuel Garay, also captured in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat on February 2; and
4. PO2 Jerome Natividad, captured in Talakag, Bukidnon on February 9. JE
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