Mil­i­tary re­ac­ti­vates bat­tal­ions in Ne­gros Is­land

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - R EPORT ER NEST LE L . SEMILLA

THE mil­i­tary has ac­ti­vated two ge­o­graph­i­cal bat­tal­ions in the Ne­gros Is­land Re­gion fol­low­ing in­tel­li­gence re­ports of the ar­rival of around 20 armed men in Barangay Basak, Guihulngan City, Ne­gros Ori­en­tal.

Col. Medel Aguilar, as­sis­tant chief of the Uni­fied Com­mand Staff for Civil Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions of the Cen­tral Com­mand (Cent­com) said their tac­ti­cal unit is track­ing the armed men, whom they be­lieve are still in the area, hid­ing in the hin­ter­lands and avoid­ing gov­ern­ment troop­ers.

“Si­nasabi doon pa rin sa lu­gar, but they want to avoid our troops,” he said.

The mil­i­tary be­lieves the armed men are mem­bers of the New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA), based on their com­po­si­tion and firearms used.

“Even the route na gi­na­mit nila (that they used),” said Aguilar.

“Based sa mga his­tor­i­cal ac­counts, be­cause when you talk about in­tel­li­gence you don’t look at the present (or) avail­able in­for­ma­tion to­day. You also have to look back his­tor­i­cal ac­count. By his­tor­i­cal ac­count, by the com­po­si­tion of the group and the fire arms nakita sa kani­lang grupo they are prob­a­bly NPA force,” Aguilar added.

Aguilar said that the armed men were car­ry­ing M16 and AK-47 fire arms with them.

They are, how­ever, still de­ter­min­ing where they came from.

Last May 17, around 20 armed men were re­ported to have landed on board two pump boats in Barangay Basak, Guihulngan City.

At the time the po­lice asked for as­sis­tance from the mil­i­tary to ver­ify the re­ports, the mil­i­tary could not send any troops as they had no quick re­sponse team.

Now, how­ever, the armed forces as­sured the pub­lic that they can im­me­di­ately ver­ify these re­ports with the re­ac­ti­vated bat­tal­ions of (NIR).

“We can mon­i­tor them. We have now two newly ac­ti­vated ge­o­graph­i­cal bat­tal­ion in Ne­gros Is­land,” Aguilar said./

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