303IB yet to receive information on added units
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran yesterday said he supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to deploy additional troops and police officers to Negros in order to address the recent spate in violence.
In a radio interview, Familiaran said, due to the presence of additional police officers in the city, the crime rate has steadily declined.
The city official said there is no problem if the Armed Forces of the Philippines adds more troops as long as it does not create fear among residents.
He also does not believe Duterte’s order is a prelude to the declaration of a nationwide Martial Law.
Meanwhile, the Philippines Army 303rd Infantry Brigade (303IB) has yet to receive any communication regarding additional troop deployments.
303IB commander, Army Colonel Benedict Arevalo, said they are still waiting and do not know when the additional forces will arrive.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, citing recent acts of violence, including the ‘Sagay 9’ incident and the murder of National Union of the People’s Lawyers-Negros secretary-general, Atty. Benjamin Ramos, Jr., earlier justified the need for reinforcements in order to “prevent further loss of innocent lives and destruction of property.”
The added security seeks to “bring the country back to a state of complete normalcy as quick as possible.”
The order also reiterated measures the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) can undertake during a state of national emergency on account of lawlessness; along with directing the AFP, PNP, and Department of Justice to closely coordinate and intensify local and transnational intelligence operations./DGB, WDJ