The New People’s Army (NPA) is preparing to release a police officer captured in a raid on the Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental police station on May 29, 2016.
In a statement, NPA Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez said Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen had “admitted” his guilt of possessing a sachet of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and apologized for his “error in judgment.”
Sanchez said the shabu Ongachen kept had been taken from a “test buy” operation. “He has… apologized to the masses, the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, and the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front),” he said.
Sanchez said Ongachen’s custodial unit has reported that preparations are underway for his safe and orderly release.
He added, however, that the NPA is ready for “any untoward incident” even with the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire by both the government and the CPP.
Sanchez said the pending release of Ongachen along with Police Officer (PO)1 Michael Grande, who was arrested on June 19, 2016 in Lupon, Davao Oriental, are “a gesture of goodwill on the part of the revolutionary movement and optimism for the resumption of the peace negotiations.”
Below is the complete transcript of Ongachen’s public apology:
Magandang hapon po. Humihingi po ako ng tawad sa masang Pilipino lalong-lalo na kay Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, sa PNP organization, at sa CPP-NPA-NDF sa pagkakamali ko pong paghawak ng isang sachet ng shabu na nakuha namin sa test buy na hindi ako dapat ang hahawak nito.
Sa dahilan pong tiwalang-tiwala po ako sa sarili ko na hindi ko po ito gagamitin dahil hindi po ako user. At ito po ang naging dahilan kung bakit tumagal nang ganito ang pag-kustodiya sa akin. Inuulit ko po, hindi po ako user, hindi po ako pusher, at lalong-lalo na po hindi po ako protektor ng droga. Sana po mapatawad po ninyo po ako. Maraming salamat po.
Good afternoon. I am apologizing to the Filipino people, especially to Pres. Rodrigo RoaDuterte, to the PNP organization and to the CPP-NPA-NDF for the mistake I have committed of keeping in my possession a sachet of shabu that we took during a test buy. I should not have been the one who kept it. This was because I was confident that I would not use it since I am not a drug user. And this is the reason why my custody took a long time. Let me reiterate that I am not a user, I am not a pusher and, most especially, I am not a protector of the drug trade. I hope you will all forgive me. Thank you very much.