PHILIPPINE National Police (PJP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Thursday ordered all police offices and units nationwide to intensify their crackdown s against private armed groups and loose firearms ahead of the election season.
“I am directing all police offices and units nationwide to intensify operations against private armed groups and loose firearms. Hindi lamang Mindanao ang ating tututukan kungdi lahat na ng lugar sa bansa,” the top cop said.
“Papalapit na ang eleksyon at alam naman natin na may ilang pulitiko na gumagamit ng private armed groups para sa pansarili nilang mga interes, partikular ang maipanalo ang kanilang kandidatura gamit ang dahas. We will not allow that,” he added.
Particularly being targeted for neutralization by the PNP in Mindanao alone are over 130 armed groups, according to the National Task Force on the Disbandment of PAGs (NTF-DPAGs) chaired by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Ano.
Gen. Eleazar said that by neutralizing these PAGs, they would be able to live up to their vision of having a credible, orderly and peaceful elections in 2022.
“Local police officers should intensify their intelligence gathering measures to keep a close eye on all potential private armed groups as well as syndicates involved in gunrunning activities,” he said.
“Dapat tiyakin ng PNP na walang magaganap na aberya o kaguluhan sa bawat bahagi ng halalan, mula sa filing ng candidacy hanggang sa deklarasyon ng mga nanalong kandidato,” the PNP chief added.
Gen. Eleazar said that this early, they are already polishing their security measures for the forthcoming presidential and national elections.