The 11th Infantry Battalion in central Negros, where a series of killings perpetrated by the New People's Army had occurred in the past months, received augmentation from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.
Col. Francisco Delfin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, confirmed on Saturday that the 11IB was reinforced by a DRC (Division Reconnaissance Company) unit of 3ID.
The NA Leonardo Panaligan Command recently claimed responsibility for the killing of Councilor Crispin Posadas in Isabela, the assassination of Magdaleno Grande,a political campaign leader, and former Army Msgt.Armando Secuya in Moises Padilla, and the raid of the hacienda owned by Mayor Enrique Montilla, also in Isabela, all in central Negros.
In northern Negros, five Army soldiers and two agrarian reform beneficiaries died in separate encounters and raids in Sagay and Escalante cities, while two policemen were killed in an ambush in Candoni town early this year, police records show.
Delfin, who hosted the Media Funshoot Games Saturday at the 303rd Infantry Brigade firing range in Murcia, said they have been conducting an island-wide operation, using personnel from detachments that have been deactivated.
“Some detachments had been deactivated because we want our soldiers to be highly mobile, as they can immediately react if there is a report on the presence of an armed group,” he said.
“They should not stay in one area for long”, Delfin added.
Isabela Mayor Enrique Montilla had requested for an additional Army detachment to be put up in Isabela, following the assassination of Posadas and the occurrence of other NPA-related activities in his town.
Posadas is slated to be buried today at the Isabela public cemetery, with full military honors, being a former member of the Philippine Army.
Chief Inspector Anthony Grande, Isabela police chief, said they are now on red alert, as security will be tight in the burial of Posadas.*GPB
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