MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Police has arrested 41,858 most wanted persons in various operations launched for the entire year of 2009, Director General Jesus Verzosa said on Monday.
Apart from the arrests, Verzosa also reported that 25 wanted suspects were killed in various police encounters and 350 other suspects surrendered.
Verzosa said that among those arrested include Central Luzon-New People's Army leader Delfin Pimentel, who has a reward of P2.6 million for his arrest; Dino Amor Pareja alias Khalil Pareja of the Rajah Solaiman Movement with a reward of P500,000; and Jason Saligan alias Commander Aguilar with a reward of P5 million.
Also in 2009, police also confiscated 7,060 loose firearms from 4,480 unauthorized gun holders in separate police operations.
Verzosa said the PNP has also filed 3,125 criminal cases in court against these violators.
At the end of the national firearms amnesty period last November 30, the PNP accounted for 271,895 loose firearms thru voluntary surrender, registration of undocumented firearms and renewal of expired license.
"Accounting of loose firearms thru the National Firearms Control Program (NFCP) and the neutralization of threat groups and criminal elements are bold steps we are taking to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections in 2010," Verzosa said.
The PNP has also neutralized 326 criminal gangs with 875 members armed with 141 assorted firearms, Verzosa said.
He said these groups were gun-for-hire groups that could be used by some politicians as partisan armed groups to "harass and intimidate political opponents."