SAF commandos in Cebu may be recalled as NCR reverts to MECQ
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - August 5, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The elite Special Action Forces (SAF) deployed in Cebu City as an augmentation force might be pulled out not later than August 15.

The development came on the heels of the reversion of the National Capital Region’s and four provinces’ previous status of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

The SAF commandos, including their mobility assets such as multi-purpose armored vehicles, were deployed in Cebu City on June 26 to help enforce enhanced community quarantine protocols. The city’s status was already reclassified to general community quarantine from August 1 to 15.

Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, chief of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, said the 150 SAF commandos might be sent back to Camp Crame to reinforce security detail in NCR and other areas in central Luzon.

He said NCR might need additional forces to help and assist in the implementation and enforcement of health and safety protocols under the MECQ.

“Because of the situation in Metro Manila, we will coordinate with the higher headquarters with the recall of our SAF troopers. It depends on the decision of the chief PNP and the whole command group of the PNP,” said Ferro in yesterday’s press briefing.

President Rodrigo Duterte, over the weekend, approved a Cabinet recommendation to revert Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to a stricter MECQ from August 4 to 18 following the request of exhausted medical frontliners for a “timeout.”

As for Cebu City’s situation, Ferro said, it is already “manageable.”

“The local forces are enough to secure areas and fill in the duties of the SAF team,” he said.

“If others need more help, they should get the help. But for us here (Central Visayas), we can now manage the situation particularly in Cebu City,” he added.

He said PRO is also willing to augment forces in NCR should the latter ask for assistance. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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