Marañon: We have been requesting additional troops
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. yesterday voiced support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to deploy additional troops to Negros Occidental, noting, Negros should have a minimum of four battalions of troops in order to ensure peace and order.
He pointed out, following last year’s siege of Marawi City, two battalions were withdrawn from Negros in order to reinforce troops in Mindanao. With the said conflict over, the governor is hoping for the return of the two battalions.
“I agree with Duterte’s order and, as a matter of fact, we have been requesting for additional troops for a long time,” Marañon said.
However, in response to Duterte’s plans to introduce a ‘hit squad’ targeting the New People’s Army-Special Partisan Unit (NPA-SParU), he believes the president was not serious about the proposal and merely chose the “wrong words.”
“It’s too drastic,” the governor stated.
Marañon went on to criticize the SParU for “liquidating” individuals without conducting a proper investigation.
Earlier, 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., 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.
The PNP already unveiled plans to deploy at least 100 members of the Special Action Force in Negros, while the Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigade has yet to receive any communication regarding additional troop deployments./DGB, WDJ