NegOr top cop relieved amid probe into killings

MANILA The police provincial director in Negros Oriental has been relieved from his post as part of the probe on the spate of killings in the province, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.

This is to confirm that Negros Oriental provincial director, Police Col. Raul Tacaca has been relieved from his position to give way to an impartial probe on possible lapses by his administration in light of several high profile killings in the province for the past several days, PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement sent to reporters.

According to Banac, PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde designated Col. Angelito Dumangeng, Deputy Regional Director for Operations of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, as concurrent officer-in-charge of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office.

The country's top cop likewise ordered the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to lead the probe on the spate of killings in the province.

We assure the public that the peace and order situation in Negros Oriental is under control and our police units there remain on full alert to prevent the occurrence of crimes, Banac noted.

On Monday, PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde ordered the deployment of more than 300 Special Action Force (SAF) troops to Negros Island to augment the local police in anti-criminality and internal security operations.

I have ordered the deployment of more than 300 SAF troops to Negros Island to augment local police units in anti-criminality and internal security operations against elements and dissident terrorist groups operating in the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental, Albayalde told reporters during a press conference held at Camp Crame.

The regional director (Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas) told us that their hot pursuit operations together with the AFP are continuing and that they are looking into all these killings, he added.

Albayalde said that the local communist rebels are responsible for the series of killings.

The spate of killings occurred after four intelligence operatives of the police were tortured and killed in Barangay Mabato in Ayungon town on July 18.

From July 23 to July 28, a total of 13 people were killed, including a lawyer tagged as sympathetic to the NPA in Guihulngan City, a former mayor of Ayungon town, an incumbent councilor of Canlaon City, a barangay captain in Canlaon City, a school principal and his sister, who is an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Guihulngan City and a barangay captain also in Guihulngan City.

There is also that possibility that the four police officers were tortured and summarily executed and there is also a scheme on the part of the CPP-NPA where they sacrifice their own and then blame government forces for alleged human rights violation. They are also pointing to government forces for these killings, he explained.

In some of the killings, the gunmen would barge into the house of their target and would leave spray-painted graffiti that indicate the NPA is claiming responsibility.

"This is part of their propaganda. That they will execute their own and blame the government for it," Albayalde said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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