KIDAPAWAN CITY— The Catholic Church in Kidapawan, North Cotabato has urged the communist New Peoples’ Army (NPA) to free as soon as possible and without condition a police officer they abducted on August 14 in Makilala, North Cotabato.
The appeal was aired by Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo as he tasked three priests to establish communication lines with local NPA at the borders of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.
He said diocesan priests have contacted the rebels believed to be holding Police Officer 1 Bristol Catalan of Makilala town police office.
“We have made contacts, we are now waiting for results. I hope it is positive,” Bagaforo told Church-run Radio DXND in Kidapawan.
Three priests were tasked to link with the communist movement for the safe release of Catalan, an active member of Basic Ecclesial Community of the Catholic Church in Makilala.
Catalan’s wife, Jessa, has sought the help of Bishop Bagaforo two weeks after gunmen seized her husband while driving his two children to school on August 14 in Barangay Katipunan, Makilala.
Mayor Rudy Caoagdan of Makilala also sent emissaries to the rebels operating in North Cotabato, asking them to free Catalan, an intelligence officer of Makilala police.
Jessa also appealed to her husband’s captors to free him since the family is dependent on his salary as source of income.
She said her children also stopped reporting to school and displayed signs of trauma since the abduction.
On the day he was abducted, the gunmen told Catalan’s children that their father will be tried for his alleged anti-people and anti-communist stance.
In 2014, a police officer in Kidapawan City was seized by NPA rebels and executed him later. His remains were found buried in a shallow grave in the mountain village.