900 cops deployed to sustain peace in N. Samar villages

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed at least 900 cops to help sustain anti-insurgency efforts in 14 villages of Northern Samar. Police officers assigned for ‘confidence-building’ mission under the Revitalized ‘Pulis sa Barangay’ (R-PSB) Program will stay for six months in the villages of Palapag, San Roque, and Mapanas towns earlier cleared from the threats of the New People’s Army (NPA). PNP Eastern Visayas regional director Brig. Gen. Vincent Calanoga said in an interview Friday that 318 personnel were deployed late Thursday in Osmeña, Bagacay, Capacujan, Sangay, and Cabatuan villages in Palapag town; and Naparasan and Quezon village in Mapanas town. In mid-July, the PNP also deployed 583 police personnel to Coroconog, Balnasan, Balud, Pagsang-an, Malobago, Lawaan, and Bantayan villages in San Roque town. ‘We selected the best policemen for deployment since this is a sensitive operation. This is about confidence-building in communities previously influenced and are vulnerable to the persuasion of NPA,’ Calanoga said. These police personnel in 14 teams are skilled in farming, nursing, engineering, teaching, plumbing, electrical, and healthcare since their mission is to develop communities, he said. Maj. Gen. Edgar Allan Okubo, the director for police community relations at the PNP main headquarters, led the send-off ceremony of personnel to Palapag and Mapanas late Thursday at the police regional office here. ‘We will ensure to sustain the campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the NPA in Northern Samar since the province is the last bastion of insurgency. We will prevent the resurgence of insurgency in remote areas as well as insulate the unaffected areas,’ Okubo said. The R-PSB program was first launched by the PNP several years ago and is now being revived to support the thrusts of the local task force to end local communist armed conflict

Source: Philippines News Agency