PHILIPPINE National Police Chief, General Dionardo B. Carlos yesterday commended the Southern Luzon Area Police Command for their continuing stepped-up effort to neutralize private armed groups (PAGs) that could be used to disrupt the holding of a fair and peaceful May 2022 national and local elections in the region.
The top cop issued the commendation to Lieutenant Gen. Ferdinand O. Divina, the commander of the Southern Luzon Area Police Command after the Police Regional Office 5 headed by Brigadier Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo neutralized another member of the notorious Concepcion Crime Group operating in Bicol region and as far as Calabarzon region and Metro Manila.
Brig. Gen. Estomo said that the Concepcion Crime Group has been identified as a potential private armed group in Bicol and has been the target of a massive police operation since last year.
Last Friday, another key leader of the dreaded crime group was killed in an encounter with police operatives in Libon, Albay.
The suspect identified as Rolly Saysay, a cousin of elusive Concepcion Gang leader Gilbert Concepcion exchanged gunfire with PRO5 operatives who tracked him down in his hiding place in Barangay Tambo in Libon municipality 4 a.m. Friday and was killed in the process, the official said.
According to Brig. Gen. Estomo, members of the PRO5 Regional Mobile Force Battalion led by Colonel Roderico Roy Jr. were fired upon by a number of heavily-armed men in the area prompting them to retaliate.
“We have neutralized another hardcore member of the Concepcion Crime Group and we are pressing our effort against the latter and his remaining members,” said Estomo.
Concepcion is a former New People’s Army rebel who joined the Army in 2004. Shortly after he became an Army deserter in 2010, he was believed to have formed an armed group involved in robbery-holdups, drug trafficking, gunrunning, and gun-for-hire activities which have left a number of politicians, soldiers, and policemen dead.
The official said that when Concepcion went on AWOL and was dismissed from the Army service, he formed his armed group which terrorized construction magnates and moneyed businessmen in Bicol, Calabarzon, and even National Capital Region.
The Southern Luzon Area Police Command has jurisdiction over Bicol, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa regions and has been given full authority by Gen. Carlos to have operational control over the regional mobile force groups of the concerned police regional offices.
“Its men are greatly involved in the fight against criminality and insurgency and will play a major role in the PNP’s effort to keep the May polls as peaceful, honest, and orderly as possible,” said Gen. Carlos.