Starting yesterday, eight soldiers from the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, headed by Lt. Col. Ramir Redosendo, were posted at all the gates of Silliman University in full battle gear.
The 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, said the soldiers will complement the police in helping the university secure its premises due to the expected influx of dignitaries, alumni, and visitors for the duration of the celebration.
He downplayed social media reports that the Army deployment in a private university, like Silliman, is a prelude to Martial Law. “To persons spreading lies and unfounded beliefs, especially on social media, you should feel secured because we’re here to protect the community,” he said.
Madriaga told peace-loving Negrenses and Dumaguetenos alike that “it would be very difficult and fearsome when the armed group of the New People’s Army will be the ones patrolling our communities.”
Madriaga is seeking the understanding of everybody not to give malice to their presence. Besides, the school is requesting for them, side by side with the Philippine National Police, not to mention the fact that two weeks ago, a certain Nelson Tan posted in the Facebook page of the university the possible dates where a bomb is supposed to explode. Authorities called this a hoax when no bombs were found.
Madriaga, meanwhile, enjoins the parents to check on the activities of their children, find out the names of the organizations they are in, and determine if they’re not left-leaning because of massive recruitment activities being conducted by the NPA, especially among the youth.
“The enemy has no regard for to the future of our children as long as they are able to recruit and provide them with firearms to become combatants,” he added.