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Government strives to secure release of abducted Davao Oriental police chief

MANILA, Philippines – The government said it will do everything to secure the release of the chief of the Governor Generoso police station who was abducted by NPA rebels following an attack on their police station in Davao Oriental.
In a press conference, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he is no longer interested in rescuing the abducted cop due to his connections to illegal drug activities.
Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen was taken captive by the group of rebels who attacked the Governor Generoso police station in Davao Oriental Sunday evening.
In a radio interview Saturday, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said he is not aware of Duterte’s comments but the government he said is sticking to the statement by the Philippine National Police.
“Ang batid ko yung ay pahayag ng ating Philippine National Police at ang opisyal, ang posisyon ng PNP ay patuloy nilang sinisikap na mapawalan o ma-rescue o maalis sa pagkabihag ang mga police officers natin dahil hindi naman makatwiran at labag sa batas ng Republika ang pagkuha sa kanila at ito ay sisikapin nating maisagawa sa mga nalalabing araw ng Aquino administration,” he said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
The NPA said the police station was attacked due to the demand of the local residents to seek punishment for the protectors of illegal drug activities in their municipality.
The Governor Generoso Police Station has served as a gateway for illegal drugs to be circulated in Davao Oriental, the rebels said.
The locals also complained that policemen have been protecting land-grabbing activities of prominent families in the province, the group added.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.