Verzosa cites PNP gains

January 28, 2010 10:47 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 28 — Security operations for the May 2010 general elections have surpassed the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) own accomplishment records in previous elections.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said that more reports of arrest of gun ban violators and confiscation of firearms were noted in different regions of the country over the last 15 days since Comelec-imposed nationwide gun ban took effect on Jan. 10.

As of Jan. 28, a total of 486 violators of the nationwide gun ban had been arrested along checkpoints by PNP-AFP Joint Security Control Centers in strategic locations around the country.

The checkpoint operations, supervised by officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) also yielded 413 firearms, 13 explosive devices and 63 bladed weapons

Verzosa said comparative analysis of results of operation this year showed an increase of 47.61 percent in the number of arrested persons and 53.52 percent increase in confiscated firearms compared with the results of operation during the first 15 days of the election security operations for the 2004 elections.

Verzosa noted that this year’s accomplishments over the same 151-day period also showed 26.90 percent increase in arrested persons and 19.28 percent hike in confiscated firearms.

The chief PNP said the Comelec checkpoints, manned by PNP and AFP security forces, have also netted wanted persons, criminal elements and communist insurgents.

"Checkpoint operations are not entirely against gunban violators alone. These security measures are also in support of ongoing campaigns against loose firearms, wanted persons, and organized crime groups,” said PNP Spokesperson Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina.

On Tuesday, another wanted person affiliated with the communist New People’s Army was arrested at a Comelec checkpoint in Sta.Rosa, Laguna.

Edwin Villarin yielded a cal.45 pistol and a fragmentation grenade when accosted by combined elements of the CALABARZON police and the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division.

Police investigators identified Villarin as leader of the CPP/NPA Special Operations Group operating in Southern Tagalog Region and tagged as suspect in the murder of Laguna Provincial Board member Danny Yang in San Pablo City in June 24, 2009.

In Central Luzon, two members of a robbery gang were killed and another suspect was arrested during an encounter with police operatives in Victoria town, Tarlac on Wednesday afternoon.

Also on Wednesday in Maguindanao, continuing operations against loose firearms and partisan armed groups resulted in the confiscation of another weapons stockpile in a ranch owned by the brother of suspended Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Troops seized nine rifles, a submachinegun and thousands of live ammunition from the ranch of Sarip Ampatuan in Barangay Labo-Labo 2 in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao when police served a Search Warrant issued by the RTC Branch 17 of Kidapawan City.

Police invited four questioning five tenants of the farm, Sekak Sulang, Salvador Domingo, Datu Manot Usman, Allan Langalan and Anas Badsalan. (PNA) RMA/MM

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