May 8, 2011
The NPA’s Herminio Alfonso Command-Front 53 Operations Command has received a letter from the families of the two NPA prisoners of war (POWs), Cpl. Delfin Largo Sarocam (Serial # 797683) and PFC Jayson Burgos Valenzuela (Serial # 872545), dated April 29. In the handwritten letter, the families thanked the NPA for taking care of their loved ones and called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to pull out their troops to give way to a possible negotiated release. It was signed by Mrs. Jean Sarocam and Mr. Marcos Sarocam, Jr., POW Sarocam’s wife and brother, respectively; and Mrs. Gina Valenzuela, POW Valenzuela’s mother.
The NPA custodial unit assures the families of POWs Sarocam and Valenzuela that the People’s Army implements its policy of humane and lenient treatment of prisoners of war and fully enforces the NPA’s Three Main Rules of Discipline and Eight Points of Attention. Their rights as prisoners of war as provided in the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and international laws of war are respected.
We convey to the POW families that time and again, it is the AFP that derails the processes that could lead to the possible early and safe release of the POWs. The AFP ignores the situation of their rank-and-file, the POWs in particular, and disregards the POW families’ pleas by conducting face-saving combat-rescue operations.
The NPA understands the concerns of the prisoners of war’s families. Even as the AFP officialdom is more concerned with face-saving moves, the NPA continues with the processes pertinent to the POWs while cognizant of their and their families’ desires.
Herminio Alfronso Command, Front 53 Operations Command, NPA-Southern Mindanao