Manila: Communist rebels abducted a policeman at a checkpoint they established, then blasted an improvised bomb in a nearby area which wounded 10 people in southern Philippines, police said.

Members of New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, seized police officer Ruben Nojapa at a checkpoint that the leftists unilaterally established in Mainit village, Nabunturan town at six Monday morning, said Senior Superintendent Camilo Cascolan, police chief of Compostela Valley.

Meanwhile, eight civilians and two soldiers were wounded in a landmine blast in Cabidianan village, several kilometres from Compostela’s provincial capital, at eight also on Monday morning, Cascolan said.

Police and military held a joint operation to pursue members of the NPA, said Cascolan.

The Philippine government and the communist National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the CPP-NPA, have been holding on and off peace talks since 1992.

In 2004, the NDF refused to return to the negotiating table after the Philippine government allowed the United States and the European Union to include the CPP-NPA in the list of foreign terror groups.

Formal talks were resumed in mid-2010, after the election of President Benigno Aquino, but talks were stalled again following the failure of the Philippine government to release political prisoners who were advisers of the NDF in the peace talks.

They were covered by immunity from arrest, a provision of one agreement initially inked by the Philippine government and the NDF.

The NDF also refused the government’s proposed forging of a ceasefire agreement while they are holding peace talks.