No sacred cows in dismantling of private armies — Palace

February 4, 2013 11:40 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Feb. 4 — Malacanang on Monday said government authorities will step up efforts in going after individuals who are holding loose and unlicensed firearms, and also the dismantling of private armies regardless of who they are or whether they belong to political personalities or families allied with the administration.

"We are going to go after all those individuals who are holding loose firearms, unlicensed firearms," said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a press briefing on Monday.

"The President (Benigno Aquino III) has ordered the PNP (Philippine National Police), to make sure that firearms — and, for that matter, to observe the gun ban in all areas," he stressed.

On the other hand, Lacierda said dismantling of private armed groups have been part of the directive of the President.

He said President Aquino ordered government authorities to go after private armed groups regardless of whether they belong to political personalities or families allied with the administration.

"We had a meeting several months back on the private armed groups and the President made it clear that there should not be the presence of private armed groups (in the country)," he said.

"Walang sinasanto ang Pangulo. ‘Pag sinabing private armed groups, bawal ‘yan. ‘Yan po ang instruction ni Pangulong Aquino," he added.

Lacierda said even outside of the election, proliferation of loose and unlicensed firearms and the presence of private armies are "anathema to an administration that is preserving peace and order."

President Aquino earlier ordered for the dismantling of all private armies ahead of the upcoming mid-term elections this year.

In 2010, the PNP has identified about 112 private armies in the country. (PNA)

FPV/LGI

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