Matina Enclaves, Davao City
September 16, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte formally announced the release of SPO2 George Rupinta, a former hostage of the New People’s Army (NPA), at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City.

The President presented the police officer to the public after the latter was released and turned over to Reverend Socrates Ibol of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

SPO2 Rupinta was abducted in Barangay Langka, Municipality of Lupon, Davao Oriental last June 9, 2017. He was assigned as a Municipal Executive Senior Police Officer at the Lupon Municipal Police Station. After three months in captivity, SPO2 Rupinta was released by the NPA in Barangay Sangab, Municipality of Maco, Compostela Valley at around 1:30 in the afternoon of September 15, 2017.

“I’d like to thank the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NDF and the CPP-NPA-NDF combined for the humanitarian gesture of releasing a policeman taken hostage… well of course I would have to say because I should share, I see it rather, all prisoners of war have been treated well in accordance with the Conventions of Geneva and for that I also would like to acknowledge their respect for the law,” President Duterte said in his message.

He also responded to the NPA’s appeal for the resumption of peace talks with the Philippine government, saying, “kase ang gusto niyo apurahan, and there are things which I cannot concede alone because I am not the only one in control of this government. I share power with Congress and the Supreme Court, so do not ask for something in a hurry and for those which are not acceptable for the other branches of the government… Now if you want to resume the talks, I am not averse to the idea but let me sort out first the other branches of government.”

SPO2 George Rupinta was accompanied by his wife, Diolfa Rupinta, and their son, Cyrel Jhon Rupinta, during the presentation.

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