PNP steps up campaign vs loose firearms



MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has stepped up its campaign against loose firearms so these may not be used in poll-related violence during next year’s mid-term elections.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. has ordered all regional and provincial units of PNP’s  investigative arm to be proactive in the drive against persons with loose firearms.

Pagdilao cited the need to “take away these instruments of violence from the hands of those men who are bent on using violence and coercion against the public to influence the results of elections.”

In the past three months, the CIDG’s Oplan “Paglalansag Omega” has resulted in the arrest of 104 persons for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, he said.

The CIDG has also confiscated 199 loose firearms, 108 of which were high powered, he added.

Pagdilao attributed the success of the campaign against loose firearms to the participation of the community, especially residents who give CIDG tips and information under the agency’s Community Investigative Support (CIS).

It was also CIS that led to the arrest of some 1,756 law violators, majority them wanted for heinous crimes, in the first quarter of 2012, the official said.

From January 1 to March 31, the CIDG nabbed 142 members of organized crime groups, neutralized 31 such groups all over the country, and killed three suspected members, Pagdilao said.

He said CIDG’s aggressive drive against wanted persons had also made significant strides, resulting in the arrest of 1,510 felons, of whom 146 were facing murder, rape and robbery charges.

Among those who fell to CIDG operatives were five Abu Sayyaf Group members wanted for kidnapping-for-ransom, a suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, and two Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels, Pagdilao said.

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