The Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed Special Action Force (SAF) commandos on Negros Island amid a wave of killings.
“I have ordered… the deployment of more than 300 Special Action Force troops to augment local police units in anti-criminality and internal security operations… in Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental,” PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde told a press conference yesterday.
At least 21 people have been shot dead in Negros Oriental since last week. Among the victims were a city councilor, a former municipal mayor, four police officers, a village chief and a lawyer.
Albayalde said pursuit operations for New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and other suspects in the killings are ongoing.
He said there is still no decision on whether the police force in Negros Oriental would be reshuffled.
The PNP chief said there is also no indication that President Duterte would declare martial law in Negros Oriental.
”Medyo nagalit sya because of the brutal killing of our policemen pero wala naman siyang sinabi na he will declare martial law,” Albayalde said.
He noted that the incidents were confined in specific areas.
Meanwhile, Negros Oriental first district Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong said she would file a resolution calling for a congressional inquiry into the killings.
Limkaichong said the wave of killings left the people in her province “in shock and fear.”
She said the killings should be a wake-up call to strengthen and synchronize efforts to end communist insurgency.
Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo ordered the Central Visayas and provincial police offices to conduct a thorough investigation of the killings.
“We are dealing with the situation step by step. We look forward to the resolution of these cases as soon as possible,” Degamo said.
The latest victim, a certain Ananciancino Rosalita was shot dead at a market in Barangay Panubigan, Canlaon City on Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Central Visayas police director, said only three incidents were confirmed to have been perpetrated by NPA rebels.
Sinas was referring to the killing of Marlon and Marjun Ocampo in Sta. Catalina town, barangay chairman Romeo Alipan of Buenavista in Guihulngan City and rebel returnees Weny Alegre and Felomino Janayan in Zamboanguita.
Degamo said he would request Dumaguete City Bishop Julito Cortez to initiate a multisectoral peace dialogue.
“Let us stand for peace and let’s make the rule of law prevail in the province,” he said. – Source: With Gilbert Bayoran / Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star)