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Army official relieved over Samar misencounter


By Francis Wakefield

The battalion commander of the Army’s 87th Infantry Battalion has been relieved of his position in the aftermath of the misencounter that took place in Samar which left six policemen killed.

Army 87th Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, made the revelation following the incident that took place on Monday.

Farnacio identified the Army official who was relieved from his post on Wednesday. as Lt. Col. Arnel Floresca.

“Actually pending the conduct of investigation kaya ko nirelieve (that’s why I relieved him). Para hindi siya maka-influence (So that he cannot influence) temporarily relieved,” Farnacio said.

“Effective kahapon (yesterday) he was relieved,” he added.

Farnacio said Floresca was the only Army official ordered relieved as he was the one in charge of the soldiers who took part in the misencounter.

He, however, clarified that his relieving him from his post doesn’t mean that he already committed lapses.

In the morning of June 25, elements of the Philippine Army 87th Infantry Battalion had a misencounter with members of the 805th Mobile Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8 as both groups were conducting simultaneous combat operations in Sta. Rita and Villareal towns.

Six policemen were killed while nine others were wounded in the incident.

A joint Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) probe is currently underway to determine the reason or reasons on why the misencounter happened.

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