The Negros Island Region security alert has been heightened, following an attack on a police station in Iloilo yesterday by suspected New People's Army guerillas.
Col.Eliezer Losañes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday that the red alert status had not been lifted in the NIR since the declaration of martial law.
The raid on a police station in Iloilo came a day after the 3rd Infantry Division sent its 82nd Infantry Battalion to Lanao del Sur to help suppress the terror activities of the Maute Group, a local terror group affiliated with the ISIS group.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said that he has placed all police stations and public safety forces on full alert status.
Since he has been designated as NOCPPO officer-in-charge, Castil said his instructions to all police chiefs and public safety forces commanders are to “always consider that everyday their might be a tactical offensive by the enemy”.
The NPA rebels, estimated at 40, took several high-powered firearms and handcuffed five policemen, who were unharmed.
The rebels also took a police patrol car, but later abandoned it.
Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, 3rd Infantry Division commander, who supervises Army units stationed in the NIR, Western and Central Visayas, said that they have always been on alert.
Aying even tasked the 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company to take over the areas vacated by the 82IB in Miag-ao town and its neighboring areas in Iloilo.
During the send-off ceremony at the Iloilo airporton Saturday, Aying urged the members of the 82IB to focus, build teamwork and trust, and exhibit the desired military discipline at all times so they could effectively work and fight as a team, squad, platoon, company and battalion, as well.
He also assured them of 3ID's full support so they could focus on the operations.
The 82IB was redeployed to Mindanao area as Follow-On-Forces to augment operating troops of the AFP Western Mindanao Command in suppressing the Marawi rebellion. *GPB
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