Degamo to Gapas: Deal with rebels head-on

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has directed the acting provincial commander police colonel Rizalito Guerrero Gapas to address the insurgency problem head on.

In his message during the changing of the guards at Camp Francisco Fernandez in Agan-an, Sibulan, Wednesday, Degamo told the police command to deal with the NPA rebels as well as criminality and illegal drugs head on.

It may be a tall order for the police to address the insurgency problem but with the help of the Philippine Army, the governor is confident it will win in the campaign.

Colonel Gapas explains it is the thrust of the present leadership of the Philippine National Police under chief PNP Gen Oscar Albayalde to intensify the anti-criminality campaign as well as internally cleansing the ranks of the organization and anti-insurgency.

Gapas accepted the challenge as acting provincial commander of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NORPPO) inspite of the bad impression painted against the province the past weeks because he believes the reports were not totally true as the police is on top of the situation.

Police Regional Office- 7 regional director Brig Gen Debold Sinas directed Gapas to strictly enforce policies, protocols and programs of the chief PNP.

He challenged the new acting provincial commander to make his own mark in the province rather than copy what has been implemented by his predecessor.

Gapas needs no further familiarization of the terrain in the province because he was once the commanding officer of the 31st Special Action Force based in Escalante, Negros Oriental, 24 years ago. He readily admits however that the situation before was totally different than today.

In fighting head on with the communist NPA, BGen Sinas made it clear the police is needed in filing cases and to secure search warrants among others. But he refused to confirm nor deny if a third wave of the Synchronized Enhanced Managing Police Operations (SEMPO) or SEMPO 3 is forthcoming.

“If there will be trouble, let it be now, for tomorrow my children will have peace,” Gapas said in his statement.