PNP accuses Makabayan bloc, leftist groups of ‘bloating’ Negros killings
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Thursday accused the House Makabayan bloc and leftist groups of “bloating” the issue on the string of killings in Negros Oriental and using it as propaganda against the government.
Albayalde also refuted the warning of members of the Makabayan bloc that the government might be “setting the stage” for a nationwide martial law through killings in the province, saying there was no such order from President Rodrigo Duterte.
“‘Yung peace and order naman doon kung minsan kung sino-sino nagsasabi, like them, bino-bloat nila, ginagawa nilang controversial (A lot of groups comment on the peace and order there, like them who are bloating [the issue] making it controversial),” he said in a press briefing.
“They are very fast in pointing to government forces, hindi ‘yung kanilang kaalyado ang ituro nila. It’s always the government forces, ‘yun ang propaganda. That is part of their propaganda. So ‘wag po tayong maniwala d’yan,” he also said.
(They are very fast in pointing to government forces, not to their allies. It’s always the government forces. That’s their propaganda. That is part of their propaganda. So let us not believe them.)
Albayalde also assured that “everything is manageable” in terms of security in Negros Oriental, where at least 21 were reported killed since July 18, the day when four intelligence officers were ambushed and allegedly tortured by members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
He said he ordered the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to submit to him an initial assessment of the situation in Negros Oriental on August 5.
The PNP chief likewise raised doubts on why the Makabayan bloc is “afraid” of military rule in the province, which has long been hounded by the insurgency.
“Walang sinasabi ‘yung ating Pangulo na mag-declare ng martial law doon (The President is not saying, declare martial law there). Why are they so afraid of martial law now?” he said.
But Albayalde could not say if declaring martial law in Negros Oriental would be far from reality now. Nevertheless, Albayalde said the decision on whether or not to place the province under military rule lies with the President.
“What the government forces want in the area is peace and order, wala pong iba (nothing else). We want the peace and order there to prevail, walang iba (and nothing else). ‘Yan ang pinakahangarin natin (That’s our ultimate goal),” he said. /kga
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