Army, cops on full alert for Escalante massacre anniv

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Philippine Army and the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) will deploy 500 policemen and soldiers to ensure the peaceful holding of mass surrender of more than 2,000 allies of the New People’s Army (NPA) during the commemoration of the 34th Escalante massacre in the province Friday, September 20.

Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, Nocppo director, said personnel of the Negros Occidental Mobile Force Company and troopers from the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) will be detailed in border control areas and other entry and exit points towards Escalante City.

Baleros said thousands of NPA allies from the first, second, and third districts of the province will surrender to mark the massacre commemoration in the city. It will also highlight the three-day peace summit in the city from September 19 to 21.

This year’s Escalante Massacre commemoration is themed “ESCAM 2019: Paghanduraw, Panag-uli ug Pagpadayon alang sa Tinu-od ug Malinawon nga Kalambuan.”

Escalante massacre happened on September 20, 1985, where around 20 individuals died and injured many others. It happened a day before the commemoration of the 13th anniversary of martial law by the locals of Escalante City.

The security is even more intensified, following the arrest of eight suspected NPA members in a police checkpoint at Barangay Jonob-Jonob last Wednesday, whom police accused of planning to disrupt the activities during the said date.

“We are on full alert. We want the activity to be successful and peaceful, thus we are establishing security in every major routes and establish border control measures,” Baleros said.