PNP validating reports on politicians linked to kidnapping
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is validating reports that some local politicians have gotten involved with kidnap-for-ransom groups to raise funds for the upcoming elections.
PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the PNP had intelligence reports regarding this in Mindanao, particularly in areas where kidnapping gangs were known to operate.
“We are continuously validating reports of the active collusion of some local politicians with organized crime groups engaged in kidnapping-for-ransom,” he said in a press briefing Monday.
But Albayalde said the PNP still had to establish links between the politicians and criminal gangs.
READ: PNP verifying politicians’ links to armed groups – Albayalde
He said validating the reports would be difficult and dangerous especially as the 2019 elections drew near.
“Iyon kasing pagkuha ng physical evidence, ‘yung talagang magli-link sa politician or a local chief executive on that matter, napakahirap nating gawin,” he said. “The only thing that we can do is prevent it from happening.”
(Getting a physical evidence, that which will link the politician or a local chief executive on that matter is really hard.)
Albayalde said politicians allegedly linked to crime groups had not been identified, but added that kidnappings had taken place in Basilan and Zamboanga.
He said the PNP would investigate if any local politicians were linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which is notorious for kidnapping.
He denied claims that the ASG had been gathering strength, noting the PNP and the military’s “massive” operations against it. /cbb
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