Zambo police on alert vs. possible NPA attacks

Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis Licup, Police Regional Office-9 director (right), answers questions during a press conference Friday in Camp Batalla, Zamboanga City. To his right is Chief Supt. Edwin De Ocampo, deputy regional director for administration of PRO-9. (Photo courtesy: Remus L. Ong) 
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Police Regional Office 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) has placed its personnel on alert and strengthened security measures to thwart any possible attack by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the region.

Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis Licup, PRO-9 director, issued the order after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) directed its armed wing to launch offensives across the country in response to the extension in the imposition of martial law in Mindanao.

Licup said Friday all provincial and city directors have been ordered to adopt “target hardening” measures, especially the undermanned municipal police stations and vital government installations.

The municipal police station in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, which was attacked by NPA rebels on April 9, 2012, is one of the undermanned police stations in the region.

Licup disclosed that all units have also been directed to launch an offensive against the NPA rebels in their respective areas.
“We will not wait for them to attack us; we will look for them and decimate their forces,” he added.
The NPA rebels in the region are under the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee and have substantial presence in the three Zamboanga provinces.

Licup said police are also on the lookout for the NPA’s sparrow unit, a hit squad whose members “are going around the region.”

The PRO-9 director also bared they have received information that all of the congressmen who voted in favor of the extension of martial law in Mindanao are potential targets of the NPA attacks.

In a joint session of Congress early this week, 235 voted in favor of the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2019 while 28 voted against it and one abstained.

Meanwhile, Supt. Rodrigo Maramo, PRO-9 operations chief, said 19 NPA rebels have been either killed or have surrendered in the region since January this year.



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