Police in Negros Oriental are keeping a close eye on the possible arrival of suspected armed men from nearby Mindanao after receiving intelligence reports that newly-hired associates of a notorious robbery/hold-up gang from Ozamis City were headed towards Region 7.
Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, newly installed provincial director of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, confirmed this yesterday during a call on Gov. Roel Degamo at the Capitol in Dumaguete City.
Carlos, who had updated Degamo on the intelligence report, said he had summoned the police chiefs and other police unit commanders yesterday for a command conference to plan safety nets against the possible entry of these armed men to Negros Oriental.
He added that the NOPPO had received a directive from the PNP Regional Office 7 regarding the intelligence report, that identified two members of the Ozamis Robbery Group (whose names were withheld for security reasons) and their “newly hired associates, who are heading to Cebu for unknown purpose”.
A source from PRO-7, who requested anonymity, said the report has yet to be verified and, so far, there are no indications that these personalities have already reached Cebu or Negros Oriental. The local police are not taking any chances with the report, especially since suspects from Mindanao-based robbery gangs had pulled some heists here, including the foiled daytime robbery of a pawnshop in downtown Dumaguete City, involving some P5 million worth of jewelry.
Degamo said his order to Carlos was to eliminate or dismantle all armed groups, adding that there are unconfirmed reports that some groups are being used by politicians.
Carlos, whose controversial appointment as OIC provincial police director of Negros Oriental is being questioned by the governor, assured the latter that the police are doing their best to institute preventive measures and coordinate with stakeholders.
Degamo had rejected the appointment of Carlos due to “procedural lapses.”
Degamo said yesterday that he has accepted Carlos to the post after some serious consideration, but his objection to the PNP’s selection process remains the same.*JF