NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson believes the recent anti-insurgency operations carried out in Bacolod City and Escalante City that resulted to the arrest of some progressive groups’ leaders and members are legitimate.
Lacson said the operations were not “spurred by the moment” and he believes the raids were a result of the intelligence gathered by both the army and police.
The governor added that those who were arrested will be given the chance to defend themselves.
“It’s a work they have to do, and if that will bring about lasting peace in the province then I'm all for it,” Lacson added.
Last week, at least 55 individuals, including 15 minors, were rounded up after operatives from the Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group raided the offices of various progressive groups in Bacolod City and Escalante City.
3ID spokesperson, Army Captain Cenon Pancito III, said the raids were conducted after receiving numerous reports claiming the said offices were stockpiling firearms and ammunition.
Reports were also noted to have come from former NPA members who surrendered in Escalante City last September.
The military official also said the offices were reportedly being used as a recruitment facility for the NPA.