Clear delineations needed to prevent ‘misencounters’

MANILA To prevent misencounters like what happened in Sta. Rita, Samar last June 25, clear delineations must be made when Army and police units conduct internal security operations (ISO), military public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Wednesday.

ISO refers to operations conducted against rebel forces.

The military should be in charge in conducting these operations in forested and mountain terrains while other law enforcers should be tasked in holding these missions in urban areas.

"Itong mga areas sa gubat-gubat talagang dyan kami nag-ISO (We conduct ISO in forest areas). Pag sa siyudad, law enforcement (units)ang nag-ISO (or) law enforcement operations, sa Philippine National Police siya (In cities, law enforcement units are in charge of ISO, such as the Philippine National Police)," Detoyato stressed.

The AFP added proper coordination must be put in writing to ensure that the process is done formally.

"May mga written form eh (There are written forms). May mga pinakita sa amin yung mga dating unit commanders dun, may mga written form na coordination, so lalabas din siguro sa report yun (The former unit commanders there showed us the written form on coordination, so I guess it will be indicated in the report) if that kind of coordination was followed or not," he added.

Earlier, Detoyato said another two weeks is needed before the report on the tragic misencounter between police and military units in Sta. Rita, Samar will be released.

This is to prevent haphazard handling of the investigation which involved two large security organizations, he added.

Around 9: 20 a.m. of June 25, elements from the 1st Platoon, 805th Company, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8 of the PNP and troops from 87th Infantry Battalion had a misencounter in Sitio Lonoy, Barangay San Roque, Sta Rita, Samar that resulted to the death of six policemen and wounding of nine others.

Detoyato said the AFP-PNP Board of Inquiry is still looking at reports that the police officers have communicated with the military via cellphone and this prompted the investigators to collect and investigate all the mobile phones of the troops involved. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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