AFP says it sent two battalions to Samar
The Armed Forces of the Philippines ( AFP) said two battalions of soldiers were sent to Samar as the military complied with a Palace order to restore order in several areas.
Brig. General Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said Thursday said the two battalions were "initial" deployment.
"We did an assessment and we saw there is really a need for us to reinforce our units there. That is why we sent two battalions," said Arevalo. "It's a regular infantry battalion." He did not say when the two battalions were deployed.
Last Nov. 23, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered more government forces to be sent in some provinces in Visayas and in Bicol region to suppress lawlessness.
Memorandum Order No. 32, which Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed on November 22 by the order of the President, said a "number of sporadic acts of violence" have occurred recently in some areas in the country, particularly in Samar, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental, all in Visayas, and the Bicol region.
Arevalo said the military is studying what deployments will be done to find out how many units or soldiers will be sent to areas covered by the Palace order.
He said the military intends to send elite forces. "This is part of what we are studying," he said.
On Monday, the Philippine National police said it has deployed at least 132 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Bicol and Samar.
PNP said it has a standby SAF contingent in Negros which can be redeployed in critical areas. DMS