Cops keep eye on 8 armed groups in CalabarzonBy Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—The Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) police are dismantling at least eight private armed groups operating in the region to prevent politicians from using these groups for the elections next year.
Superintendent Manuel Manalo, acting information officer of the regional police, said the regional police are monitoring the movement of leaders and members of the groups and are ready to make arrests.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has tagged Cavite and Batangas as among 15 provinces deemed security concerns in next year’s elections.
Manalo said the 15 were tagged areas of concern because of poll-related cases of violence in the provinces in the 2004, 2007 and 2010 elections.
In Cavite, police tagged the cities of Tagaytay and Imus and the town of Amadeo as areas of concern.
Among the major cases of violence that police are citing in Cavite was the gunfight between police in Bacoor City and aides of former Rep. Plaridel Abaya during the 2010 election period. The gunfight killed two of Abaya’s aides, retired Marine Col. Arnulfo Obillos and Juanito Paraiso.
In Batangas, the towns of Taysan, Bauan, Balete, San Pascual, Calatagan and Tuy and the cities of Batangas and Lipa are areas of concern.
According to Manalo, police are on “double alert” in Cavite and Batangas.
Police have also stepped up their campaign against unlicensed guns and for gun owners to renew their licenses.