MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, on Monday ordered the deployment of more than 300 Special Action Force (SAF) troops to Negros Island to augment the local police in anti-criminality and internal security operations following the spate of killings in Negros Oriental.
“I have ordered the deployment of more than 300 SAF troops to Negros Island to augment local police unbits in anti-criminality and internal security operations against elements and dissident terrorist groups operating in the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental,” Albayalde told reporters during a press conference held at Camp Crame.
“The regional director (Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas) told us that their hot pursuit operations together with the AFP are continuing and that they are looking into all these killings,” he added.
Albayalde said that the local communist rebels are responsible for the series of killings.
The spate of killings occurred after four intelligence operatives of the police were tortured and killed in Barangay Mabato in Ayungon town on July 18.
From July 23 to July 28, a total of 13 people were killed; including a lawyer tagged as sympathetic to the NPA in Guihulngan City, a former mayor of Ayungon town, an incumbent councilor of Canlaon City, a barangay captain in Canlaon City, a school principal and his sister, who is an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Guihulngan City and a barangay captain also in Guihulngan City.
“There is also that possibility that the four police officers were tortured and summarily executed and there is also a scheme on the part of the CPP-NPA where they sacrifice their own and then blame government forces for alleged human rights violation. They are also pointing to government forces for these killings,” he explained.
In some of the killings, the gunmen would barge into the house of their target and would leave spray-painted graffiti that indicate the NPA is claiming responsibility.
“This is part of their propaganda. That they will execute their own and blame the government for it,” said Albayalde. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / PNA – northboundasia.com