PNP identifies 48 private armed groups nationwide

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that it has identified three active private armed groups (PAGs) in Central Luzon and 45 suspected PAGs in other parts of the country prior to the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

In a press briefing on Monday, PNP-Public Information Office (PIO) Assistant Chief Dario Menor said the three active PAGs are composed of 35 members with 104 firearms, while the suspected PAGs are estimated to have 280 members and 392 firearms.

Meanwhile, PNP-PIO chief Redrico Maranan mentioned the need to pursue police operations that will focus on pinning down PAGs and seizure of illegal firearms.

"Kailangang magkaroon ng mga search warrant operations para makuha natin yung mga illegal na armas sa kanilang pag-iingat," he said.

"Kung sila naman ay may mga pending warrants of arrest sa mga members ng PAGs na yan ay huhulihin natin yan at sisiguraduhin natin na sa susunod na election ay magiging matahimik at mapayapa,” the chief added.

[Translation: There must be search warrant operations so that we can get the illegal weapons from their custody. If they have pending warrants of arrest against those PAGs members, we will arrest them and make sure that the next election will be quiet and peaceful.]

Based on their records, Maranan claimed that PAGs are involved in murder and harassment cases — especially during elections.

The PNP-PIO chief said he will let the Commission on Elections disclose areas of concern in the upcoming barangay and SK elections.

READ: PNP ‘ready’ for barangay, SK elections; intensifies fight vs. loose firearms