Know your enemy.
That is what Police Director Camilo Cascolan, PNP chief for Operations, said yesterday in response to the series of incidents involving policemen killed in ambushes perpetrated by the New People's Army, while responding to distress calls.
Cascolan, who officiated over the formal deactivation of the Police Regional Office 18 at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City yesterday, said they are going around the country, to lecture to the police on Community Anti-Terrorism Awareness Program, Enhanced Managing Police Operations, aside from Knowing the Enemy.
He again reminded the police to strictly observe security measures, while responding to distress calls. Before responding, they should verify calls for help with their Barangay Intelligence Network or assets, and should walk while going to the ambush site.
He also stressed the need for the police to control their borders or boundaries. “When you control the borders, we would be able to control the area inside,” Cascolan said.
There should be always coordination and cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he added.
“If you are not familiar with the ambush area, you should seek the help of PPSCs (Police Public Safety Companies) or RPSB ( Regional Public Safety Battalion) and have a thorough plan for it,” Cascolan said.
Cascolan also stressed the need for simulation exercises among police units. “Everybody will know what to do in case anything happens”, Cascolan said.
“When you have done all these things and your men are all safe, it is the time to go on the offensive,” he also said.
Six policemen died, and three others were injured, in an ambush staged by the NPA in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, on July 21, while they were responding to a shooting incident in the area.
A similar incident recently took place in Cauayan, Negros Oriental. But the five Cauayan policemen who responded to a reported hold-up incident, survived, and were unhurt during the ambush staged by suspected communist rebels.
Next week, they will launch an Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action that will be responsible for filing legal action against those responsible for the ambush of their personnel and harassment of police detachments, Cascolan said.
The Philippine National Police is also planning to increase the number of PPSCs of provincial police offices, including those in Negros Island, as well as of RPSB personnel to their maximum limit.
At present, Cascolan said the provincial police office has only one public safety company, compared to four before.
He said they will recommend the increase of PPSC unit in one province to PNP chief Ronald ‘Bato” dela Rosa, as well as the increase of RPSB strength to its maximum of limit.
The newly-deactivated PRO18 headquarters is being eyed for a satellite office of the PRO 6 in Bacolod City.* GPB
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