PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan yesterday said that the PNP Intelligence Group and Special Action Force will be the main units pushing the police counter-terrorism drive.
The PNP-IG headed by Brigadier Gen. Edgar S. Monsalve and the PNP-SAF headed by Major Gen. Bernabe M. Balba will fully partner with each other in conducting anti-terror operations following the rule of law, the top cop said during the 6th PNP National Advisory Council (NAC) Summit at Camp Crame.
Gen. Cascolan added that members of the two units will also be “trained much more in seaborne operations” since they will be targeting members of the Abu Sayyaf and other ISIS-inspired terror groups in the southern part of the Philippines.
At present, the PNP-SAF has its Seaborne Company which gained fame for their role in the January 2015 effort to neutralize Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist Zulkfli bin Hir alias ‘Marwan’ leading to the killing of 44 SAF commandos.
A number of recent PNP-SAF and PNP-IG operations have seen officers chasing wanted terrorists fleeing on board motorized boats in Zamboanga peninsula, thus the need for them to be equipped with seaborne training and modern vessels and armaments.
PNP spokesman Colonel Ysmael S. Yu said that officers and men of the PNP tasked by Gen. Cascolan to go after known terrorist groups in the country are under orders to fully follow the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 11479 otherwise known as The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which ensures the protection of human rights.
“Our units tasked to conduct the country’s war on terror are under orders to strictly follow the rule of law and protect human rights at all times. We are making it clear that the law was not created to suppress the democratic rights of our people but only to give us members of security forces enough teeth to go after terror targets in our list,” said Yu.