Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) freed on Tuesday the policeman they abducted during a raid at the police station in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, more than a month ago, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

Captain Albert Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said members of the NPA Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee freed PO2 Faisal Majid Juhaili at the barangay hall of Brgy. Kanipaan, Bayog, around 5 p.m.

Before Juhaili was freed, the rebels, led by an alias Guzman and alias Luis, called on Brgy. Kanipaan chairman Rio Apao, local residents, and some mediamen to witness the release, Caber said.

The rebels also told the civilians not to leave the premises while Juhaili was not yet released, for security reasons, according to the regional military spokesman.

Following his release, Juhaili was met by his family was immediately brought to their residence in Zamboanga City on a chartered vehicle.

His captors, meanwhile, withdrew towards the hinterlands of Brgy. Dagum, Bayog.

On April 9, some 40 to 80 rebels stormed the Tigbao Police Station and quickly disarmed the lawmen on duty.

The raid resulted in the loss of seven M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, a caliber-.9mm pistol, and the abduction of Juhaili.

National Police chief Dir. Gen. Nicanor Bartolome relieved Senior Supt. Jose Bayani Gucela and Senior Insp. Heinz Legaspi as heads of the Zamboanga del Sur provincial police and Tigbao police for the raid, which came while the police was on “full alert” for the Holy Week. (John Roson)

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