Albayalde: So far there’s no sign to call for martial law in Negros Oriental
MANILA, Philippines — For now, there was nothing in the prevailing peace and order situation in Negros Oriental that would indicate a compelling reason to place the province under martial rule.
This was the observation of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who also said Monday that circumstances in Negros Oriental have always been normal despite the death of 21 persons in the province from July 18 to 28. Authorities have blamed the New People’s Army (NPA) in the killings there.
“So far wala naman at wala namang sinasabi ang ating Presidente. At doon sa mga development doon sa mga naaresto ay palagi naman natin binibigay at pinapasa ‘yung reports sa Office of the President,” he said in a chance interview when asked if there was any sign that may trigger declaration of military rule in Negros Oriental.
(So far, there is none and there has been no word from the President. And regarding the developments there on arrests, it’s always being reported to the Office of the President.)
Albayalde admitted that the string of killings in Negros Oriental might have caused apprehensiveness to locals, but stressed there was “nothing abnormal” in the province’s peace and order situation.
“Wala naman tayong nakitang [abnormal] doon, except sa mga series ng patayan, but then kasi kaya sinasabing nag-normal [ang situation] kasi wala nang nababalitaan [na namamatay],” he said.
(We do not see anything abnormal there, except in the series of killings, but then the reason why we say it now became normal is that there was no more recent report of killing.)
But even if reports on violent incidents have already relaxed, Albayalde said the police and military are still conducting operations to secure residents in the area.
A company of the PNP-Special Action Force has already been deployed to Negros Oriental to augment the local forces there, while two more PNP-SAF companies are set to be deployed to the province in the coming days, officials said.
A PNP-SAF company is composed of 60 to 80 officers. /kga