Police arrest 18 more members of private armies

January 31, 2010 12:24 am 

MANILA, Jan. 30 — Police arrested 18 suspected members of Partisan Armed Groups (PAGs)in separate operations in Masbate and Laguna.

Chief Supt. Perfecto Palad, PNP Director for Integrated Police Operations in Southern Luzon (DIPO-SL) said the move was part of sustained aggressive police operations to neutralize PAGs and deny them of economic support systems, mostly through criminal activities.

In Masbate on Friday, security forces from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company (PPSMC) of Masbate and police commandos of the Special Action Force, led by Inspector Ronald Pascua, engaged an armed group, led by Gerry Solasco in Barangay Mabuhay, Pio V Corpuz town.

Palad said the Solasco group was believed responsible in the Jan. 20 killing of Barangay Chairman Ali Aranzado, ABC President of Esperanza town.

The group was reportedly conducting their own checkpoint along the road when PNP troops responded to the scene, triggering a brief firefight and prompting the suspects to scamper to different directions using civilians as cover.

Seven arrested suspects were Ambrosio B. Auman, 52; Gilbert C. Auman, 28; Rosalito S. Arabis, 31; Rolly G. Gallarde, 29; Charlito Q. Rotano, 52; Bonifacio B. Auman, 53, and Rey P. Buhia, 32.

The suspects yielded an M16 rifle with 55 rounds of ammunition, and two revolvers with defaced serial numbers.

The PNP had deployed 100 police commandos to Masbate backed by air and riverine assets to launch an intensified crackdown against PAGs that operate in the island province. Recently, the AFP fielded two Scout Ranger companies to Masbate, backed by light armor support, to join operations against PAGs in the province.

In Laguna, 11 persons were arrested for possession of guns and illegal drugs during a raid on a drug den in Biñan on Saturday.

Palad said operatives of Special Task Group Laguna served four search warrants issued by Judge Cesar Magrobang of RTC Branch 22 of Imus, Cavite against suspected maintainers of the drug and illegal gambling joints, who were also believed to be members of PAGs.

The raid resulted in the confiscation of three handguns, 20 sachets of suspected shabu, assorted ammunition, an airsoft assault rifle, six illegal gambling machines, and a suspected stolen scooter.

Palad said the group derived economic support from drug trafficking and illegal gambling to sustain their activities. (PNA) RMA/PR/rsm


Comments are closed.