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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, June 18, 2011
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Army, police realigning
units in north Negros


A realignment of military and police units in the hinterlands of northern Negros, is impending with the series of tactical operations by the New People’s Army against military targets, and destruction of private properties in EB Magalona, Negros Occidental.

Supt. Milko Lirazan, director of the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion, said yesterday that there is a plan to re-occupy the old detachment in Brgy. San Isidro, EB Magalona.

Two weeks ago, suspected rebels burned two farm tractors in Brgy. San Isidro, EB Magalona. It was followed by another raid of an hacienda in Brgy. Alicante, in the town, where rebels also torched another farm tractor, police records showed.

The burning of the tractors was reportedly due to the refusal of landowners to pay revolutionary taxes.

Col. Francisco Patrimonio, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said they are now fast-tracking the construction of a military outpost in Brgy. San Isidro, EB Magalona.

Patrimonio said they will transfer troopers stationed at the Gawahon detachment in Victorias City, to San Isidro in EB Magalona.

Lirazan said the vacated detachment in Brgy. Gawahon will be occupied by troopers of the Public Safety Company of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.

A company-sized unit of the 6th RPSB is presently stationed in Brgy. Nanca, EB Magalona.

For several years, the hinterlands of EB Magalona became a security vacuum, which being taken advantage by communist rebels, whom they reportedly either used as staging or harboring area for their tactical operations.

Lirazan said some of the rebels who recently raided the Hacienda Teresa in Brgy. Alicante, EB. Magalona, and burned a farm tractor, have already been identified.

He, however, said witnesses are afraid to reduce their testimonies into sworn affidavits that will be needed in the filing of criminal complaints against the suspects.

For two weeks, the NPA had gone on a rampage, by burning three farm tractors, harassed four isolated military outposts, causing injuries to two policemen in ambush, and summarily executed a civilian in Negros island, military records showed.

Patrimonio said this could be an attempt of the rebels to project that they are still strong and a force to reckon with.*GPB




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