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PH security forces move to suppress criminality, impunity in Negor

Officers from the Philippine Army and PNP conduct joint checkpoint operations in Negros Oriental following the creation of JTF Negros to intensify the law enforcement operations in the province in view of the Pamplona shooting incident. (Photo courtesy of JTF Negros)

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, March 14 (PIA) -- Instead of placing Negros Oriental under a “state of emergency,” the country’s security forces has started exercising the President’s “verbal order” to suppress criminality and impunity in the province.

Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Carlito Galvez made the announcement over the weekend as he and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino visited the wake of slain Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo at the Provincial Capitol.

The latest directive from Pres. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is in line with the recent shooting incident in Pamplona that claimed the lives of Degamo and eight others.

“May hierarchy po tayo yung tinatawag na calibrated response. Una muna po ang tinatawag na verbal call out order Second po is yung state of emergency through lawless violence. Tayo po ay nandito sa mababa dahil nakita po natin na napakaganda ng ginawa ng AFP saka PNP na right after (the incident), mga five hours after ay nahuli po natin ang tatlo na mga suspek (We are following a hierarchy in our calibrated response. First is the verbal call out order and the second one is the state of emergency through lawless violence. We are here in the bottom tier because we saw the good coordination between the AFP and the PNP which resulted to the arrest of three suspects of the incident five hours after it happened),” Galvez explained.  

“Yung ginagawa po natin ito is yung tinatawag na ‘his verbal order’ to call on the armed forces to perform tasks to support actively yung law enforcement na ginagawa rito sa Negros (What we are carrying out right now is his verbal order to call on the armed forces to perform tasks to support actively law enforcement operations that are being implemented in Negros),” he added.

Joint Task Force (JTF) Negros was formed between the DND, AFP, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify the manhunt operations against the remaining suspects of the incident who are still at large.

JTF Negros will conduct AFP-PNP law enforcement operations in the province under the supervision of Galvez along with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Benhur Abalos and Department of Justice (DOJ) Sec. Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Galvez disclosed that the President's instructions to the JTF were clear: to get all 10 suspects, dismantle all private armed groups in the province, and to serve justice to the victims of the shooting.

Five suspects have already been arrested by the police and military.

Four of them were captured alive while one died in an encounter with authorities.

“The President is very firm in his guidance, to solve the case as soon as possible and bring these lawless elements to justice,” Galvez said.  

In line with this, the AFP was directed to re-deploy personnel from the two brigades and six battalions all of the Philippine Army (PA) over Negros Island to strategic areas where the remaining suspects at large could be hiding.

“Nakaporma na ta og usa ka unit na mao mobuhat niini unya kauban pod nato ang atong mga officers who will compose of this task force (We have already organized a unit to act on this together with our officers who will compose this task force),” said AFP Chief Gen. Centino.

The general disclosed what the public can expect with the JTF.

“You will be seeing more of our soldiers joining iyong pag-conduct ng checkpoints with the PNP. Perhaps in the serving of the warrants may kasama rin tayo forces from the AFP who will be joining the other law enforcement agencies (You will be seeing more of our soldiers joining in the conduct of checkpoints together with the PNP. Perhaps our forces from the AFP will also be joining other law enforcement agencies in serving of warrants),” Centino added.

Galvez said the military will also assist in the intelligence operations and in providing security to the families of the victims and the witnesses.

The DND chief added that Abalos has assured the augmentation from the regional and national security forces such as the Special Action Forces to assist in the pursuit operations against the other suspects.

Galvez and Centino maintained that these operations are carried out to show the might of the government, restore people’s confidence to the security forces, and build confidence of future witnesses of the case. (RAL/PIA7 Negros Oriental)

About the Author

Roi Anthoni Lomotan


Region 7

Roi Anthoni Lomotan is an Information Officer at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - 7. He is currently based in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. His job at PIA includes covering general beat assignments and other important events in the province.

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