THE chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed to assist police officers in Central Visayas who may be charged for their involvement in the deaths of 14 suspected New People’s Army members in Negros Oriental last month.
Not one police officer who participated in Oplan Sauron has been sued, though.
Police General Oscar Albayalde believes the calls made by so-called progressive groups to have Oplan Sauron investigated and police officers involved in the deaths of the 14 men prosecuted are “propaganda.”
“It’s just propaganda. As long as they have something to say. They took advantage of the situation for their own advantage. I hope the public won’t be blinded by this,” the police official said in Tagalog.
Earlier this month, the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives asked Congress to investigate the operation due to allegations it targeted political activities.
The PNP Internal Affairs Service and the Investigation and Detective Management Branch are investigating Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office Director Raul Tacaca and three of his police chiefs for their participation in Oplan Sauron.
Albayalde explained that he relieved the four officials temporarily pending the result of their investigation. It doesn’t mean they are guilty, he clarified. They will be reinstated if they are found innocent, he said.
The four officials have been assigned at the Personnel Holding Accounting Unit of the Police Regional Office 7.
Meanwhile, Albayalde said he would not heed the progressive groups’ calls to scrap Oplan Sauron.
“They’re anti-progress nga, eh. We’re building farm-to-market roads, but they’re setting fire to the heavy equipment. Is that progressive? I don’t think so. The people end up suffering, especially those in far-flung areas,” Albayalde said in Tagalog. FROM AYB OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / JKV