By BASIR ALIPOLO
MIDSAYAP, Cotabato–New People’s Army rebels snatched a police officer at Purok 4, Barangay Katipunan in Makilala.
The abduction was seen as a retaliation for the recent arrest of a suspected guerrilla in Makilala, Cotabato two weeks ago.
Police identified the captive as PO1 Bristol Catalan, an intelligence officer.
The officer was riding his motorcycle with his two sons when he was stopped by NPA rebels in Katipunan.
One of his sons said the abductors identified themselves as members of NPA. He said they blindfolded his father and brought him toward a forested area.
Chief Insp. Joyce Birrey, spokesperson for the Cotabato Provincial Police Office, said Catalan heads the intelligence and investigation unit of the Makilala police.
Birrey said Catalan was overpowered and outnumbered. There were 10 suspects, she said
Earlier reports said a certain Commander Choi of the NPA Front 53 was holding Catalan as “prisoner of war,” and brought to the mountainous area near the boundaries of North Cotabato and Bukidnon.
As of press time, the NPA has not issued any statement regarding the Catalan case.
The policeman’s abduction came two weeks after the arrest of a rebel commander in North Cotabato.
On Aug. 3, the 39th Infantry Battalion and the Makilala police raided the house of Sergio Rebuta a.ka. Siring of the Yunit Militia of the NPA Front 51, and seized from an improvised explosive device that weighed 10 kilos, three high-powered guns with ammunition, and subversive documents. (with reports from malu cadelina-manar of mindanews)