4 black police chiefs relieved


SEVERAL senior police officers in Negros Oriental were dismissed from their posts by Camp Crame after their operation resulted in the death of 14 alleged New People's Army (NPA) supporters on Saturday, March 30.

Police Director Oscar Albayalde issued the order for assistance from the Director of the Eastern Black Provincial Police, Raul Tacaca, the Police Officer of the City of Canlaon, Patricio Degay, the Chief of Police of Manjuyod, Roy Mamaradlo and the Chief of Police of Santa Catalina, Michael Rubia, awaiting the result of the investigation.

The operation dubbed Oplan Sauron targeted personalities who allegedly had unlicensed firearms.

Human rights groups criticized the police, saying the suspects were neither members of the APN nor sympathizers.

Eight police targets were killed in Canlaon City, four in Manjuyod and two in Santa Catalina.

Regional Police (PRO) Director 7, Debold Sinas, said that the Oplan Sauron was legitimate, as police were only implementing search warrants. They defended themselves after the suspects resisted arrest, he said.

The Human Rights Commission, the National Police Commission and the Home Affairs Service 7 began to investigate what happened during the Oplan Sauron.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, who visited PRO 7 headquarters in Cebu City last Tuesday, April 2, believed police had found members of the NPA. However, he will await the outcome of the investigation, he said.

The NPA's Leonardo Panaligan Command on Negros Island condemned the operation, saying the police killed innocent people.

Lacson said the suspects were farmers working for the NPA, attacking soldiers and extorting businessmen in Negros. (From ABB to SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)


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