IN PREPARATION FOR 2013 ELECTION
A CRACKDOWN against private armed groups (PAGs) has been launched by the police in Pangasinan in preparation for the May 2013 elections.
Wednesday last week, law enforcers seized from one group operating in the eastern part of the province several guns and ammunition during two raids in San Manuel town.
Senior Supt. Mariano Luis Verzosa Jr., officer-in-charge police director of Pangasinan, said combined elements of the Regional Intelligence Group, Regional Public Safety Battalion and Pangasinan Public Safety Company swooped down on two houses of two members of the Sol Group, a known PAG in Pangasinan.
Verzosa, speaking during a media forum of the Pangasinan Press Club held in Dagupan City, said he is intensifying the campaign against PAGs by dismantling the known groups to ensure peaceful elections.
Confiscated during the raids were one Colt AR15 (a high powered model of M16), one caliber .45, one Magnum .22 rifle, all without licenses and one licensed Armscor caliber .45 plus several ammunitions.
The Sol Group is named after its leader, identified as Leonardo Sol, who was arrested during the raid.
PAGS refers to a group with two or more persons being utilized by a certain politician or individual to sow fear or intimidation, possessing legal or illegal arms to advance political interest.
The police are now eyeing another PAG based in the western part of the province.
Verzosa noted that there were seven identified PAGS in Pangasinan during the 2010 elections when he was the regional intelligence officer in Region 1.
Five of these were later delisted after they had complied with police requirements.—Eva Visperas