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PNP steps up drive against partisan armed groups

  • Written by Alfred Dalizon
  • Published in Nation

BARELY six months before the start of election campaign period, the Philippine National Police are stepping up its drive to identify and dismantle partisan armed groups that may be used to cause trouble during the 2016 presidential and national polls, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina said yesterday.
   
“We’re already discussing our campaign to smash partisan armed groups (PAGs) and account for loose firearms nationwide specially those being held by these PAGs. As early as now, we’re hitting targets and won’t allow them the opportunity to regroup and launch activities that will be contrary to law,” Espina said.
   
The top cop said the PNP intelligence community is regularly meeting to validate and revalidate the existence of PAGs, their numbers, locations and firepower since their number varies from one election to another.
   
“The intelligence community will find them from the bottom up to the top and we will target them,” he said.
   
Last month, senior PNP officials met to start their preparations to ensure an honest and orderly 2016 presidential and national elections.
   
PNP deputy chief for operations Deputy Director General Marcelo P. Garbo Jr. led a pre-election conference among top police officials in Camp Crame as part of their forthcoming election duties and activities.
   
During the meeting, the police officials discussed concerns regarding stronger police-community partnership, operations against loose firearms, PAGs, criminal gangs and other threat groups.
   
Garbo said law enforcement operations in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies will also be activated in the coming months particularly the organization of Special Operations Task Groups (SOTGs) at the regional level to address the presence of PAGs and other high profile targets; and identification, validation and assessment of possible election watchlist areas (EWAs) as a tool in mission planning.

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