Another company-sized unit of the police elite Special Action Force arrived in Negros Occidental to augment the local police in the maintenance of peace and order, and to conduct internal security operations, its commander, Supt. Mario Baquiran, yesterday said.
The 604th SAF Company, which is composed of 72 personnel, aside from the 39 assigned at the 6th SAF Battalion headquarters in Manapla, arrived nine months after the 601st SAF Company came to Negros Occidental in July last year.
The SAF troopers are trained in domestic counter-terrorism, law enforcement and commando-type unconventional warfare.
Baquiran said they will serve as the rapid deployment force during the election in Negros Occidental. He also assured the impartiality of SAF in the election, following claims that they may be used by some politicians in northern Negros.
The 602nd and 603rd SAF companies are now assigned in Panay island.
Police records show that the 6th SAF Battalion had participated in the recent arrest of Greg Tuayon, alleged by the military to be the finance bureau chief of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, in Manapla.
Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, yesterday said they are forming a rapid deployment force and quick reaction teams to be deployed in strategic areas of the province during the election.
De la Paz and Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday met with Comelec officials in Cadiz City, and discussed security preparations for the PCOS machines, polling precincts, and voters in the district level.
The National Police Commission had earlier approved the creation of two additional Special Action Force battalions.*GPB