BACOLOD CITY ,Philippines - A 100-man elite force of the Philippine Army has arrived in Negros Occidental to augment government forces in their fight against insurgents, Col. Francisco Patrimonio, 303rd Brigade commander, confirmed yesterday.
Patrimonio said the troops belonging to the 3rd Scout Ranger Company from Catbalogan City in Samar arrived at the San Carlos City port Thursday midnight on board a Philippine Navy ship.
The troops proceeded to the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion headquarters, its mother unit based in La Granja, La Carlota City, he said.
Patrimonio explained that the unit will be based in La Carlota but will serve as a support force to the 302nd Brigade operating in Negros Oriental until September. Afterwards it will shift its operations in the area of the 303rd Brigade in Negros Occidental, he said.
The arrival of the 3rd SR Company will give us capability to run after the New People's Army (NPA) rebels who are committing atrocities, he said. The rebels are involved in burning of equipments, extortion and other anti-people activities, he alleged.
Patrimonio said that the government troops are prepared for future military offensives that will be launched by the NPA rebels. "We will launch pre-emptive actions to counter their atrocities," he said.
The 3rd SR Company joined the 2nd and 1st SR companies already operating in Negros Island. The 2nd SR Company is based in Moises Padilla in central Negros Occidental and the 1st SR Company is deployed in Tanjay, Negros Oriental.
The deployment of the troops was reportedly brought about by the recent attacks made by the NPA rebels who raided the Philex Mining Corporation in Sipalay City and burned the farm tractors in E.B. Magalona town recently.