Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday expressed concern over the reported presence of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Bohol, which has been deemed insurgency free for almost a decade.
It was the first time that a national police official publicly acknowledged the “resurgence” of the NPA in the province.
“Unlike sa Abra and Masbate, mga perennial problematic provinces yan. Every time there is an election, merong killings doon sa mga lugar na yan. Sa Bohol wala naman tayong [ganyan]. The only thing we’re concerned of here is yung pwedeng maging intense ang rivalry and the presence and sightings of NPAs,” said Albayalde during an interview with the media at a command visit in Camp Francisco Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City.
Albayalde admitted that one of the reasons for his visit to Bohol was the reported NPA sightings in the province.
“Yes we have information [reported NPA sightings]. Kaya nga tayo nandito, not only for election purposes, of course kasama na yan,” said Albayalde who also led a pre-election command visit with high-ranking PNP officials in the region and the inauguration of Sikatuna town’s new police station.
Albayalde also hinted at the possibility that the reported NPA presence in Bohol may lead to disturbance during the May 13 polls.
The presence of rebels has been considered by the police as among “risk factors” during the upcoming elections.
PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde mi-bisita sa Kampo Dagohoy sa syudad sa Tagbilaran
Posted by Dyrd Bohol Ang Kasaligan on Tuesday, April 9, 2019
“Yung pagkampanya natin on internal security operations ay part of our reduction of risk factors sa darating na election. Alam naman natin, we have information that there again is resurgence of [NPA] sightings dito sa Bohol,” he said.
Last month, Lt. Col. Eufracio Malig, Jr, commander of the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Brigade reported to the Provincial Peace and Order Council that suspected NPA rebels were planning to launch a “tactical offensive” against the police and military in Barangay Lundag in Pilar, Barangay Camanaga in San Miguel and several PNP “detachments or stations” in the second district of Bohol.
Based on information gathered by the Army on March 9, 2019, NPA members were also planning to “liquidate” or kill suspected military informants.
Another report, received by the Army on March 24, 2019, indicated that seven suspected NPA rebels, four of them armed with high-powered firearms, were spotted at 11 p.m. on March 22, 2019 in Barangay San Carlos, Danao Bohol.
Bohol was declared insurgency-free in 2010 after it was previously deemed a hotbed of the communist underground.
Recently, however, NPA sightings have again been reported by state security forces.