TACLOBAN CITY- President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a directive for the deployment of additional troops to the region in order to ‘suppress and prevent’ the alleged occurrence of its lawlessness violence situation.
And on the basis of Mr. Duterte’s order, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Memorandum Order 32 on Thursday (Nov.22) calling for the assignment of additional troops to Samar as well as Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Bicol Region.
The order is in line with an earlier memorandum issued in September 2016 that provided guidelines for the military and police under Proclamation 55 issued by Pres.Duterte.
The proclamation declared a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao.
Under the said order, state forces shall suppress lawless violence and acts of terror.
“Whereas, there is a need to reinforce the directive of the President in order to prevent further loss of lives and destruction of property and bring the whole country back to a state of complete normalcy as quick as possible,” part of the memorandum order states.
Captain Francis Agno, spokesperson of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, said that there was nothing surprising on the directive of the President as there is an ongoing recruitment for new state soldiers for the region.
“The personnel of the 46th Infantry Battalion are also back from Eastern Mindanao and we are still waiting for the return of the 34th IB and 19th IB to the region. But there is still no exact date yet if when the remaining troops in Mindanao will come back to Eastern Visayas,” he said.
During the Visayas Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council held, Monday, November 19 in Tacloban City, Major General Raul Farnacio, commanding officer of the 8TH ID, said that the shooting incidents that happened in Samar were indications that lawless elements are starting to operate in the province.
Last November 18, the former mayor of Matuguinao, Allan Boller, escaped from a slay try on him while former mayor of San Jose de Buan was also ambushed on October 8. He later died while being treated at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, this city.
Harassment targeting supporters of certain politicians were also reported in Matuguinao and Calbayog City.
“These are the things that are traditionally happening in Samar province which we are looking into to address by making security preparation,” Farnacio said.
Both the military and the Philippine National Police and the military are monitoring presence of private armed groups and members of the New People’s Army that could affect the security and peace and order in the province. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)