ZAMBOANGA City, Philippines—Authorities have started summary proceedings against a security agency owned by the family of retired general Jovito Palparan Jr. for reported violation of the provisions of the Firearms and Explosives, Security Agencies and Guards Supervision, or Fesags, law.
Chief Superintendent Elpidio de Asis, Western Mindanao police chief, said the summary proceedings were in connection with the June 22 raid conducted by personnel of 24 Oras Bantay Security Agency in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, on the compound of another security agency.
During the raid, 24 Oras guards seized high-powered firearms from personnel of AY76 Security Specialists, owned by retired brigadier general Alexander Yapching.
The security firms were rivals. 24 Oras works for Bayog 9 Metals while AY76 was hired by Lupah Pigegetawan Mining, whose operation had been subsequently declared illegal.
De Asis said the raid was illegal as it did not have any authority from the police and the courts, the Fesags office and the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (Sosia).
“They (24 Oras guards) should not have done that,” De Asis said.
Inspector Leonard Paredes, Fesags chief for Western Mindanao, said 24 Oras’ license could be revoked.
Paredes said Palparan’s men “committed grave violations.”
“They operated, disarmed another security agency and confiscated the firearms of another security without proper coordination with our office or with the local police in the area and they didn’t inform our office of their plans prior to going to the area,” Paredes said.
He said the action was also usurpation of authority because only the Fesags office and the Sosia were authorized to do it.
“We are now weighing all the offenses committed by 24 Oras and there’s a possibility of revocation of their license. We are hoping to conclude the summary hearing before the end of this month or first week of August,” Paredes said.
Paredes said AY76 was also penalized when the investigating team found out that its men were not wearing proper security guard uniforms.
“Their security guards were wearing or using black uniforms, which is also a violation of the Fesags and Sosia guidelines. It was the first time they committed an offense so the fine was only P50,000,” Paredes said.
As to the AK47s that were found in the possession of the AY76 guards, Paredes said security agencies were “allowed and authorized to use and procure high-powered weapons if they are assigned and deployed within high-risk areas like Bayog.”
Bayog is one of Western Mindanao areas where the communist New People’s Army operates.