The Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) is set to acquire 5,000 elite personnel to support the government’s expanded campaign against insurgency and terrorism.
PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa said that they already have five battalions ready to be additions to the currently 3,500 SAF personnel. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the recruitment of another five battalions composed of 500 personnel each.
“Aside from the five battalions na pinapa-organize sa atin ni Presidente they are now, yung recruitment is patapos na, nakukumpleto na ‘yung five battalions and kagabi naman sinabihan naman ako nya na you form another five battalions so magdagdag ng five battalions na naman,” he said.
According to Dela Rosa, aside from the mandate to address terrorism, as well as internal security and insurgency, the said augmentation of SAF is mainly intended to help in the government’s all out war against the New People’s Army (NPA) armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Last November 2017, Duterte ordered to stop peace talks with the communists amid continued NPA attacks on government troops despite the ongoing peace negotiations.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also formally asked the court to list the CPP and NPA as terrorists after Duterte tagged them such and ordered an intensified campaign against the said group.