PNP verifying politicians’ links to armed groups – Albayalde
Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Monday said that they were looking into the links of some politicians to private armed groups (PAGs) in preparation for the 2019 midterm elections.
However, Albayalde did not name the politicians pending the validation of their links to PAGs.
“We cannot divulge the name of those politicians, but we have intelligence information that needs to be confirmed and validated. Hindi lang natin basta-basta masabi ‘yung pangalan ng politko,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
Despite this, Albayalde noted that known PAGs, especially in Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon, had politicians as clients.
LIVE: PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde holds a press briefing at PNP NHQ
Posted by INQUIRER.net on Sunday, November 11, 2018
“Dun sa mga lugar na ‘yon, there are reports that they are being used especially during election time. Basically, ang information that we gather are mostly governors and mayors ‘yung mga candidates,” he said.
He cited a certain “Peralta group,” which he said had been used by some politicians in the past.
The police chief said five of the group’s members, including leader Ricardo Peralta, were arrested by the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) last week.
According to Albayalde, the group was involved in assassinations in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac, Metro Manila, and Cagayan Valley.
Peralta himself has been accused with former Gapan Mayor Ernesto Natividad for killing Ericson and Ebertson Pascual inside a Nueva Ecija cockpit in 2006. Aside from that, he has several outstanding arrest orders for multiple murder, kidnapping, car theft, highway robbery, and brigandage.
Over the week, three other suspected PAG members were killed while seven others were arrested in different parts of Luzon. In Northern and Central Luzon, the AKG arrested five other suspects related to organized crime groups.
“These two successful operations, in no small measure, will lessen possible election-related violence in the forthcoming 2019 national elections by neutralizing private armed groups and taking away instruments of violence used for political purposes,” Albayalde noted.
One of the three slain suspects in an operation at Barangay San Ignacio, San Pablo City, last Saturday was identified as Christopher Allan Alvero, leader of the Alvero group.
“Alvero is on the drug watchlist of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council of San Pablo City as a high-value target,” the PNP Chief said.
READ: Laguna high-value target, 2 others killed in shootout
During the briefing, Albayalde, Police Regional Office 4 (PRO-4) director Chief Supt. Edward Carranza and AKG head Chief Supt. Glenn Dumlao presented various firearms seized from the operations.
There were three assault rifles, eight handguns, two shotguns, a carbine conversion kit, three grenades, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and bullets for various guns. /cbb
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