First batch of SAF troops now in NegOr

The first batch of Special Action Force (SAF) troops assigned to help the local police in anti-criminality and internal security operations, following the spate of killings in Negros Oriental, has arrived in the province.

“A part of the SAF contingent is already there, that is one company or around 60 to 80 members. They are now in Negros Oriental and additional troops will be deployed,” Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told reporters in a press conference in Camp Crame on Monday.

Banac said the PNP maintains its stand that placing the said province under martial law is not necessary.

“On the part of the PNP, we continue our enforcement of the law as well as maintenance of peace and order. For now, everything is going back to normal, including the situation in Negros Oriental. Our police officers continue to secure the area but assessment of the local executives may say otherwise,” Banac said.

“For now, we cannot say or recommend the declaration of martial law because we know that we are in control of the situation. The assessment of the political leaders there, though, maybe different. We are just basing everything on our data and based on this, we are in control of the situation,” he added.

Banac said PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde awaits for the report from the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) which conducted an investigation on the killings.