MANILA – A Palace official on Wednesday said a photo of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with the recently-released police officers along with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) should be something for people to think about.
In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said “freedom-loving citizens would find sufficient cause to be alarmed at the picture” published on the April 27, 2016 issue of major broadsheet Philippines Daily Inquirer.
In the said photo, Duterte was speaking on a microphone and at the background are the five police officers who were released by the rebels last Monday and some Armalite-wielding rebels who have covers on their faces.
The police officers in the picture are wearing shirts that have prints that says POW, meaning Prisoners of War. Also at their background are flags of the NPA, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
“This picture (PDI 27 April) should lead us to think seriously and be concerned if this is the future for the Philippines which presidential candidate Duterte is offering to our people,” Coloma added.
Meanwhile, the rebels released the police officers to Duterte at an undisclosed place.
The policemen were abducted by a group of heavily-armed lawless elements wearing military uniforms while the former are on patrol at Purok 5, in the village of Mapula, Paquibato District, Davao City.
They were identified as Chief Insp. Leonardo Tarongoy, chief of the Paquibato police station; Police Officers (PO) 3 Rudolf Paceta, Rosenie Cabuenas, and Abdul Aziz Ali, and PO2 Neil Arellano.