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Sinas: Investigations underway for Negros Oriental killings; police in control

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio July 31,2019 - 09:31 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas said the situation in Negros Oriental, with the death toll rising to 20 within seven days, is not as alarming as it seems to appear.

Sinas said no local government units in the province have expressed their distrust or disappointments over the police’s investigation of the killings.

 Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said the situation in Negros Oriental province after the series of deaths is not alarming as it is appears to be. CDND FILE PHOTO

Sinas said the police have continuously investigated the deaths and even rounded up four members of the New People’s Army (NPA), two of which were among the eleven suspects in the deaths of four policemen in Guihulngan City.

Oplan Branstark, which was conducted from July 20 to July 28, resulted to the separate arrests of four suspected members of the armed group.

The operation also resulted to an encounter with another suspect of the policemen’s death. The suspect, however, managed to escape.

As for the other deaths, Sinas said the Negros Oriental police are doing their best to investigate the deaths, which included a former mayor, three barangay officials, a family of three, two teachers, and the suicide of a star witness to the deaths of the four policemen.

The deaths occured in the towns of Ayungon, Sta. Catalina, Canlaon, Zamboanguita, and Guihulngan City.

“It’s not the whole province that is affected… only in certain areas,” said Sinas.

Sinas said he instructed the Negros Oriental police to intensify the implementation of checkpoints and municipal ordinances to prevent the occurrence of more crimes.

He also instructed the policemen in the province to be careful knowing  the presence of the NPAs, who may attack any time, in the same way that they killed the four policemen on July 18.

READ: 4 cops dead in NPA ambush in Negros Oriental

READ: Ex-Ayungon mayor, four others killed in Negros Oriental

He said the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been working together to neutralize the armed groups in the province through confidential operations that they have been conducting in the mountain areas.

Despite Sinas’ pronouncement, Police Colonel Raul Tacaca, the director of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office, was relieved from his post by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday afternoon, July 31, 2019, following the spate of killings in Negros.

Albayalde also ordered the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to lead the probe on the spate of killings in the province.

READ: Albayalde relieves Negros Oriental provincial police chief

Tacaca in an interview with CDN Digital said he awaits the formal relief order, but he was tightlipped on the reason for his relief.

“We will follow the directives of the chief PNP,” he said. / celr

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TAGS: Ayungon, Guihulngan City, New People's Army, Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas

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