Police on heightened alert as armed group sighted in city-A A +A
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
THE Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is on heightened alert after detecting the presence of a suspected armed group in the city on Sunday.
Senior Superintendent Larry Decena, officer-in-charge of the BCPO, on Tuesday said he directed all station commanders to monitor their respective areas of jurisdiction for the possible presence of the suspected armed group.
He said the group was sighted on board two vehicles armed with different calibers of firearms, and the men were sporting tattoos.
The police believe the group is a member of a robbery gang, he added.
Decena said they are intensifying their intelligence monitoring operations to preempt the possible operation of the suspected armed group.
He also reminded business establishments to be vigilant and to alert their security personnel and report to the police the presence of suspicious-looking persons.
Meanwhile, Decena also directed the Bacolod City Public Safety Company (BCPSC) and the station commanders to be on alert for the possible presence of New People’s Army (NPA).
Decena issued the directive after NPA rebels attacked a police station in Davao del Sur Monday.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army in Negros Occidental is taking extra precautions as the NPA marks its 45th anniversary on March 29.
Colonel Jon Aying, commander of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the Philippine Army and other government law enforcement forces are always on alert.
“But we will be extra cautious on that day,” he said.
Aying was at the Capitol on Tuesday to attend the Provincial Integration Peace and Development Unit planning workshop from March 11 to 12.
He said government forces have monitored movements of the NPA rebels as well as sightings in different areas in the province.
There also reports that the NPA rebels are out to mark their anniversary with possible attacks on government installations and police stations well as army detachments.
Aying said the NPA’s strength has declined through the years with the Bayanihan approach of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in coordination with the local government units aimed at “freeing” the mass base of the NPA rebels from their influence.
Meanwhile, Aying said the planning workshop is also being attended by service providers and non-government organizations from the towns of Toboso and Calatrava and Escalante City.
The participants will identify the services that will be undertaken in the identified 22 communities located in the uplands of the three localities affected by armed conflict or lawlessness. (With reports from Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 12, 2014.