PNP: 65 private army members ‘neutralized,' 73 guns seized | Inquirer News

PNP: 65 private army members ‘neutralized,’ 73 guns seized

/ 03:20 PM September 04, 2021

(FILE) 5,000 assorted and unuseable firearms are destroyed during a ceremonial demilitarization and destruction of confiscated and surrendered weapons in Camp Crame, Quezon City, headed by Philippine National Police Chief Guillermo T. Eleazar on Monday, June 28. Niño Jesus Orbeta/Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 65 alleged members of different private armies were “neutralized” as the Philippine National Police (PNP) intensifies its crackdown of private armed groups for the upcoming 2022 elections, PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said Saturday.

As of January to August 2021, a total of the 65 members of private armed groups were “neutralized”: eight were arrested, one was killed and 56 others have surrendered to authorities.

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The PNP added that 73 firearms were also seized in 13 operations from January to August 2021.

Eleazar, in a statement, said armed groups could influence the outcome of local and national elections through intimidation.

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“Habang palapit na ang filing ng certificate of candidacy para sa Halalan 2022, inatasan ko na ang aming mga commanders na lalong paigtingin ang mga operasyon laban sa mga private armed groups na maaaring gamitin upang manakot at maghasik ng karahasan lalo na sa mga lalawigan at mga kanayunan,” Eleazar said.

(While the filing of certificates of candidacy for Election 2022 nears, I already ordered our commanders to bolster the operations against private armed groups that could be used for intimidation and violence, especially in provinces and the countryside.)

Eleazar previously released an order to monitor the activities of the New People’s Army (NPA), especially the extortion of money from politicians in exchange for  “permits to campaign.”

Elections in the country will be held on May 9, 2022, while the filing of certificates of candidacy will be from October 1 to 8.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, Guillermo Eleazar, Phil‎ippine National Police, private army
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