Dela Rosa puts all elite police forces on standby » Manila Bulletin News

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By Aaron Recuenco

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has placed on standby all elite police forces across the country in anticipation of the possible escalation of the gun battle between government forces and the Maute group.

PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa
(Jojo Riñoza/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“I just advised all the regions in the whole Philippines to prepare their public safety forces when needed,” said dela Rosa.

Members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion, along with the Special Action Force (SAF), are trained for terrorism and counter-insurgency and the most equipped among the PNP units.

“Right now, they are preparing, waiting for my instructions to reinforce Marawi,” he added.

But right now, dela Rosa said the police forces in Marawi City are enough, adding that they all came from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Central Mindanao and Northern Mindanao.

Among them are SAF commandos whose camps are located in various areas in Mindanao. He said a number of Regional Public Safety Battalions are also battling the Maute gunmen.

“Most of the operating battalions of SAF are already there so our forces there are big but still, if ever they are not enough, we have to pull out from other regions,” said dela Rosa.

On Tuesday, dela Rosa admitted that an armored personnel carrier of the SAF was indeed taken by the Maute gunmen at the height of the gun battle.

“Yes that’s true. It is one of the objects of our recovery,” said dela Rosa.

He explained that the Maute gunmen were able to seize the camp after the wheels of the APC were damaged after being hit by roadside bombing while reinforcing the provincial capitol..

The wounded SAF personnel were then extricated and the APC was abandoned.

Dela Rosa also confirmed that no policeman was beheaded as stated by President Duterte during the first few days of the attack in Marawi City.

Initially, he said it was Sr. Insp. Freddie Solar who was believed to have been beheaded but was later corrected after the recovery of the body.

Solar was among the four policemen who died in Marawi City.

“That’s the information that reached the President. Later on, it was ruled that he was not beheaded so it’s raw information,” said dela Rosa.

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