Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel on Sunday warned the Philippine National Police against the perils associated with the conduct of police “red-teaming” maneuvers.
“We’re worried that insurgents might exploit these security drills to pounce on isolated police stations in the countryside,” he said.
“This is just a word of caution that these so-called surprise inspections of police stations in the provinces might blow back on government forces,” he added.
Pimentel is the chairperson of the House committee on strategic intelligence that oversees government intelligence activities and programs, including counter-terrorism.
In red-teaming exercises, some police units would disguise themselves as the enemy and perform spot checks on stations to test their operational readiness, he said.
The Samar provincial police units involved in the supposed
mistaken encounter with Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino’s party on Mar. 8 were on red-teaming operations in unmarked vehicles and civilian clothes, he said, citing the report from the Eastern Visayas regional police office.
“We should not underestimate the ability of the enemy to resort to elaborate schemes to overwhelm entire police stations or military detachments and seize firearms,” Pimentel said.
“They’ve done this many times in the past by masquerading as government troops on surprise inspection. The insurgents have been known to impersonate friendly forces by simply donning military or police uniforms,” he said.