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PBBM orders heightened police presence, visibility in Masbate schools
PBBM orders heightened police presence, visibility in Masbate schools
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PBBM orders heightened police presence, visibility in Masbate schools
by Ellicia Del Mundo25 March 2023
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos has ordered heightened police presence and visibility in schools in Masbate province following the encounter between the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Philippine Army, Malacañang said on Friday.

According to Presidential Communication Office (PCO), Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who acted from Marcos' directive, said the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police (PNP) have amplified their operations against insurgents.

Galvez also said that "military commanders are also coordinating with the police, local government, and school officials to counter rebels' misinformation campaign."

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“School officials were also briefed on how to react appropriately to a similar situation involving firefights or IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) incidents in areas with close proximity to learning institutions,” the Defense chief said as quoted by the PCO.

Earlier, the President has expressed his deep concern about the series of violence in Masbate.

"This just demonstrates that although we have made much progress in the fight against the Communist Terrorists Groups, we must be continuously vigilant so that such murderous abuses are avoided in the future," Marcos said in a statement posted on his Twitter.

On March 22, NPA and the military had a heated encounter nearby schools in Placer and Kawayan, Masbate, causing disruption of classes and widespread panic among teachers and students.

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Following the incident, the Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that schools in Masbate may shift to blended learning as an alternative to in-person classes.

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