Duterte deploys SAF to Negros

SPECIAL ACTION FORCES, SAF may only be a few but elite troopers were ordered by President Duterte to scour the mountains of Negros island in order to quell lawless violence especially north of the Island and Sagay where 9 farmers were killed and six policemen in Guihulngan among others.

Provincial PoliceDirector PSr/Supt Raul Tacaca has confirmed that several SAF or special action forces of the Army are coming anytime now,  to Negros Oriental and Occidenetal , upon orders of President Duterte inorder to quell “lawless violence” which has rocked specially Guhulngan and Canlaon cities of the first district up north.

Malacanang confirmed reports about the series of unsolved killings in Guihulngan and other part of Negros like Sagay, where both civilians , farmers and police were victims in exchanges of vendettas.

The Guihulngan violence  started with the ambush killing of six policemen the last year. Then were were a series of violence attributed by the rebel movement and police operative not to exclude drugs and other crimes.

Tacaca said that he will inform the public soon as the SAFtroop arrive as agumentation forces.

Malacañang ordered the deployment of additional troops to some parts of the country as part of the government’s measure to suppress what it called “lawless violence,” in Negros  Oriental, Occidental, Samar and the Bicol proivnces.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, by order of President Rodrigo Duterte, on Thursday November 22 signed Memorandum 32, which reinforces guidelines under the state of national emergency on account of lawless violence.

Memorandum 32  (see page 4)  called for immediate deployment of additional police and military forces in Samar, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental and the Bicol Region to “suppress lawless violence and acts of terror” and “prevent such violence from spreading and escalating elsewhere in the country.”

It cited “a number of sporadic acts of violence” happening recently in these areas. — Gaea Katreena Cabico.

Under the memorandum, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice shall intensify their intelligence operations against individuals or groups suspected of, or responsible for, committing or conspiring commit acts of lawless violence in the country, as well as investigation and prosecution.

It stressed that the constitutional rights of the public shall be respected by the military and police forces during the implementation of this order.

“Any AFP or PNP personnel found violating any of the foregoing constitutional rights shall be held administratively, civilly or criminally liable therefore,” it said.

Incidents

Incidents that stood out for Duterte were the “killing and ambush of uniformed personnel, attacks on police stations, torching and destruction of equipment, massacre of civilians, and murders of local officials,” Panelo said.

Here is a list of specific instances of violence Panelo cites as basis for MO 32:

Samar

Ambush of soldiers providing relief to victims of a typhoon in Northern Samar

Armed attack at the police station in Lapinig

Ambush attack against the 63rd Infantry Battalion in Matuguinao

Assault on the former mayor of San Jose de Buan

Negros Oriental

Torching of heavy equipment in Manjuyod

Strafing of the house of the barangay chairman

Attack of police detachments

Killing of the Guihulngan  police chief and five other cops  in the ambush in Guihulngan

Negros Occidental

Attack against the 62nd Infantry Battalion while conducting clearing and combat operations in preparation for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Kabankalan

Massacre of 9 farmers in Sagay

In Bicol

Ambush of the convoy of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Nela Charade Puno in Camarines Sur

Firefights in Lagonoy

Clash in Bato

  • Since October, there have been news reports of New People’s Army attacks in these places.
  • Duterte and the military have alleged that the NPA is behind the massacre of 9 sugarcane farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last October 20.
  • Two days before the Sagay incident, 3 police escorts and a Food and Drug Administration official were killed in a NPA ambush in Lupi, Camarines Sur in the Bicol region.
  • On October 30, a police officer was wounded in a suspected NPA attack in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.
  • In a statement later on Friday, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo confirmed that the incidents were among those Duterte considered in issuing MO 32. He even said the Sagay massacre was one of the tipping points which led the President to release the order.