In anticipation of possible increased armed activity of the New People’s Army, following the withdrawal of communist rebels from peace talks, both the Philippine Army and National Police in Western and Central Visayas are now intensifying security measures in all police and military units.
Supt. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 6, said yesterday that they have already received advice from Camp Crame on the termination of the peace talks.
PNP units from regional offices down to the municipal level have been advised to strictly observe security procedures and standard operating procedures in all administrative and operational movement of troops, as well as personnel.
Capt. Eduardo Precioso, Army’s 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said yesterday that the military operations against communist rebels in Negros, are being conducted without let-up.
The 15th and 94th Infantry Battalions from Mindanao and Panay, have augmented the two Army battalions deployed in Negros Island, following stepped-up violent activities of the New People’s Army, especially in central Negros.
Senior Supt. Benigno Durana, PNP spokesman, yesterday said that all regional police offices were ordered to implement the Enhancing Managing Police Operations (E-MPO) through regular law enforcement activities, security measures, information operations, Red teaming, contingency planning, simulation exercises, feedback and offensive stance.
Based on historical data, Durana said the local communist movement is known to launch high-profile raids, ambuscades, and attacks on isolated government posts and soft targets, to project an image of strength and influence, and prop up its bargaining stand in negotiations.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said that the table is now set for localized peace talks, after the announcement of self-exiled CPP leader Jose Maria Sison that they will no longer seek peace negotiations with the government.
The localized peace talks being proposed by the military in the past several years in Negros Island, have repeatedly been rejected by the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros.
While he cannot say if the localized peace talks are still being pursued in Negros, Precioso, however, said that they are encouraging rebels in Negros to surrender and avail of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.
On the other hand, Durana said PNP units were instructed to adopt the policy of “no surprise”, unannounced inspection, or visits to PNP posts and patrol bases.
“Unexpected visitors shall be treated with extreme caution and suspicion by PNP units as the NPA has been known to disguise themselves clad in military and police uniforms, when conducting raids on isolated government posts”, Durana added in a statement he issued.*GPB
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