Kidapawan bishop appeals for cop’s safe release

Peace and Order • Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:19 AM  •  75   0
By Malu Manar
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Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo hugs one of the two newly ordained priest in Kidapawan in this undated photo from CBCP.
Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo hugs one of the two newly ordained priest in Kidapawan in this undated photo from CBCP.
Bishop Colin Bagaforo of the Diocese of Kidapawan has asked the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) holding Police Officer 1 Bristol Catalan as captive to release him the soonest to his family here.  

Bagaforo said he has already tasked three of the priests under the diocese to negotiate for Catalan’s safe release.  

“Our priests had already connected to the NPA/CPP/NDF in North Cotabato who’s holding Catalan right now.   We’re now waiting for results.   We hope it’s positive,” said Bagaforo.
 

The Catalan family has sought help from the Catholic Church to intervene.  

PO1 Catalan of the Makilala PNP is a member of the Roman Catholic Church.  

Bagaforo assured Catalan’s family that the Diocese will exert ‘all means possible’ to ‘grant the desires of their hearts’.  

The Catholic bishop has also asked the group to respect Catalan’s right to life and assure that he be protected from torture or any form of harm as embodied in the rules of the conduct of war.  

Catalan can be considered a ‘prisoner of war’, but, so far, the NPA has not released a statement declaring the cop as their POW, reports said.  

On August 14, at least six NPA members, onboard two motorcycles, snatched PO1 Catalan and brought him to still unknown area in the hinterlands of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.  

Catalan, reports said, will be investigated and will be released if proven innocent of participating in any “anti-people and counterrevolutionary” activities.
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