MANILA — The deployment of additional troops in provinces under Memorandum Order 32 is only temporary, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said late Thursday.
“(This deployment) is only temporary to help troops on the ground,” he added.
Also, Lorenzana said the memorandum order will allow the deployment of strike forces against rebel groups operating in these provinces which includes Samar, Bicol and Negros Oriental and Occidental.
He added the order was warranted because New People’s Army (NPA) forces in these provinces remain quite formidable.
“Malakas pa yung kalaban dyan (The enemy there is still strong), the NPA keeps doing things like burning, killing people so this is a preemptive thing para masugpo sila (to curb them) (and) we can pursue our ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” he added.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Memorandum Order 32 on Nov. 22 amid “sporadic acts of violence allegedly committed by lawless groups particularly in the provinces of Samar, Negros Oriental and Occidental, and Bicol Region.
“There is a need to reinforce the directive of the President in order to prevent further loss of innocent lives and destruction of property and bring the whole country back to a state of complete normalcy as quick as possible,” he said in the memorandum order. (PNA)