NPA orders release of Prisoner of War 1st Lt. Vicente P. Cammayo (SN 864629)

Act of Goodwill as the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Filipino people celebrate the 40th anniversary of the CPP

By Rigoberto F. Sanchez
Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command

The Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People's Army (Merardo Arce Command-NPA) has unilaterally decided to release NPA prisoner of war 1st Lt. Vicente P. Cammayo (SN 864629) on the first week of January 2009. POW Cammayo's release is an act of goodwill on account of the continuing celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The decision is also anchored on humanitarian grounds.

The Merardo Arce Command-NPA suspended ongoing investigative procedures on POW Cammayo and has ordered his NPA custodial unit to undertake preparations and procedures for his safe and orderly release.

The implementation of the order of release shall be based on the NPA custodial unit's assessment of the ground situation particularly the movement of AFP troops. The NPA custodial unit has the authority to suspend the release of POW Cammayo if enemy movement continues since the safety of the said prisoner of war and the receiving party is of utmost importance.

POW Cammayo, commander of the 11th company of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion-AFP, was declared prisoner of war after he surrendered during the November 7 NPA ambush in sitio Anagase, Casoon in Monkayo in Compostela Valley Province. In that November 7 NPA ambush against Cammayo's team on offensive combat operation, the NPA seized one M60 machine gun and three other high-powered rifles, among others; three AFP soldiers were instantly killed and several others wounded.

The New People's Army calls on the Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP to observe a continuing suspension of military operations within the areas of responsibility of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion-1003rd Brigade-AFP to pave the way for POW Cammayo's release.