In accordance with MO 32
TACLOBAN CITY- About 60 members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have already arrived in the region ready for their assignment in Samar.
This was revealed by Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, police regional director for Eastern Visayas, who added that the SAF members are now housed at the police provincial headquarters in Catbalogan City.
The police officer, however, declined to say when these SAF members arrived in the region except to say that they were deployed ‘immediately’ after the issuance of Memorandum Order 32 issued by Malacañang purportedly to address the ‘lawless violence’ existing in the province.
The MO 32 was issued on November 22.
Aside from Samar, additional police and soldiers are to be deployed in Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Bicol region.
Carlos, in an interview, said that the SAF members would be deployed to ‘specific areas’ in Samar, once a guideline would be drafted with their counterparts at the 8th Infantry Division which is also based in Catbalogan City.
“We are waiting for the guidelines in coordination with our counterparts which will serve as our guide where they will be deployed,” the police regional director said.
By Samar, Carlos said, this could include the three provinces of the island, namely, western Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar.
The three Samar provinces continue to struggle with the presence of New People’s Army and even private armed groups.
Carlos also said that on top of the SAF members coming from their national headquarters, he would also like to ask all the police provincial headquarters in Samar provinces to organize their own forces with the task of helping the visiting forces.
Meantime, Carlos allayed the fears that the augmentation of forces may result to abuses or human rights violations.
“We are addressing crimes. If you commit crime, murder people and harass people to pursue for something that is not for the betterment of the country, eh tatayo kami bilang security forces, together with the Armed Forces,” he said
By: Joey A. Gabieta