Latest Stories

PNP on alert for election ‘zombies,’ loose guns, private armies


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is bracing itself for possible “zombie” attacks in the coming 2013 midterm elections.

The PNP, however, was not referring to the fictional flesh-eating corpses, but to inmates allowed by corrupt jail officials to leave the prison facilities and carry out hit jobs for unscrupulous politicians.

In a statement, PNP Director General Alan Purisima said he had ordered all police units nationwide to coordinate with prison authorities in conducting “judicial audit” of provincial jails.

“The judicial audit of provincial jails… is aimed at preventing the repeat of incidents in the past wherein inmates were being tasked to do the ‘dirty jobs’ for local politicians, like assassination of political rivals and fund-raising through robbery,” Purisima said.

While rumors about the practice had long circulated in the media, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed the existence of “zombies” after the infamous out-of-prison caper of former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste, a homicide convict, from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City in 2011.

On Aug. 15, convicted murderer Rommel Laciste escaped from the tightly guarded NBP, a few hours after road rage killer Rolito Go was reportedly taken by unidentified men from the state penitentiary.

When he was recaptured in Isabela province almost two weeks later, Laciste told authorities that somebody had helped him escape from the NBP and hired him to assassinate a lumber dealer and a businesswoman in Isabela.

Besides checking the status of inmates, Purisima said the PNP would also conduct intensified checkpoint operations, reshuffle of police personnel and meetings with community leaders as part of their pro-active security measures for the May 2013 elections.

The PNP chief also directed the recall of police escorts of politicians and the sustained police operations against wanted persons and loose firearms.

“Our main objective is to make the Filipino people feel safe as they go out and choose their next leaders and make sure that it is really the sovereign will of the people that is reflected in the election results,” he said.

Purisima, also the vice chair of the National Committee SAFE (Secure and Fair Elections) 2013, said the PNP would launch “preemptive strikes” against 60 active private armed groups nationwide while keeping a close watch on 47 other groups.

He said the police would continue its house-to-house campaign to account for a total of 552,338 firearms with expired licenses and about 25,000 guns which had never been registered with the PNP.

Purisima went to Nueva Ecija police provincial office in Cabanatuan City on Sunday and met with the commanders of the special PNP task groups in seven provinces in northern Luzon which were tagged as election hotspots.

“I want to personally check and assess what have been so far accomplished by the task group commanders especially in accounting for loose firearms and partisan armed groups,” he said.

He instructed the special PNP task group commanders in Abra, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, and Nueva Ecija to identify security plans, which have failed and would have to be adjusted.

The police commanders were also told to determine “successful security plans which other task group commanders could adopt in their respective provincial areas” and “make an honest assessment” of their security preparations.

“The (PNP) has long been mapping out the best election security campaign plan to ensure the peaceful and credible conduct of the midterm elections in 2013. It is necessary at this point to conduct an assessment on what is going on in the ground,” Purisima said.

“The early bird, they say, catches the worms and in our case, we believe that through the early implementation of our election security campaign plan, we will be able to catch all the potential troublemakers whom we consider as major threat to the untrammeled exercise of the democratic rights of the Filipino people.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Alan Purisima , assassinations , Assassins , Crime , Department of Justice , Elections , fugitives , Gun-for-Hire , Jose Antonio Leviste , law and justice , Leila de Lima , loose firearms , New Bilibid Prison , News , Philippine National Police , politicians , Politics , prison break , Private Armed Groups , robberies , Rolito Go , Rommel Laciste , SAFE , Secure and Fair Elections , unlicensed firearms , ‘Christmas zombies

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Smooth Edsa ride up in 2 years, but…
  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Marketplace