At least 14 people were killed and 15 more arrested in security operations in Negros Oriental province, according to a police statement on Saturday, March 30. Security forces reportedly killed eight people in Canlaon City, four in Manjuyod, and two in Santa Catalina. One police officer was also wounded. According to a police spokesman, those killed were members of the left-wing New People's Army (NPA) who resisted arrested during a police search. Rights groups claimed those killed were farmers. Further security operations and militant activity are possible in the province and surrounding areas in the coming weeks.
The NPA, a communist rebel group active in the rural areas of central and southern Philippines, recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of their founding.
Human rights groups and journalists have condemned the Filipino government and security forces of conducting extrajudicial killings, particularly as pertaining to efforts to combat narcotics use and smuggling.
Individuals in the Philippines, particularly Negros Oriental, are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and anticipate further security operations.
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