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PRO-9 warns politicians from employing private armed groups in midterm election PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 December 2018 17:16

BY ALLEN ABASTILLAS

Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis D. Licup yesterday said that they are closely monitoring several private armed groups, including criminal gangs operating in the different parts of Zamboanga Peninsula and other areas under their areas of jurisdiction to deter politicians from utilizing them in the 2019 midterm elections.

According to the C/supt. Licup, there are at least seven private armed groups and 12 criminal groups here in the region which based on intelligence reports could be used by unscrupulous politicians in next year’s campaign and election period.

“We are closely monitoring these private armed groups and other criminal gangs to prevent them from being employed by politicians and political parties in this forthcoming May 2019 elections,”Licup stressed.

He also warned politicians and political camps from employing the service of armed groups during the campaign and election period.

Licup made the pronouncement after also revealing that he had already placed all police forces under PRO-9 in full red alert status starting Monday.

The police regional director said that the PNP in the region are also exerting its best to neutralize these private armed groups, including criminal gangs.

He added that in the past elections, some public officials and politicians have employed the service of these armed groups and criminal gangs to do their “dirty jobs” for them.

Licup also said that he also issued a stern warning to provincial police directors and chiefs of police office to always be apolitical or non-partisan during the campaign and election period.

“All police officers and personnel must not take side to any politician or political parties. They must at all times be non-partisan,” Licup told Zamboanga Times in an interview.

The police official said that aside from closely monitoring the activities of these private armed groups, the entire police force in the region will also institute adequate security measures to ensure that drug money could not be use during the election period.

Licup said that no less than President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police and the military to work doubly hard to make sure that drug money will not reach the camps of unscrupulous politicians.

He said that the police in close coordination with other law enforcement units, especially with the military, will exert its best to prevent drug money from being used in the campaign.

The police official also asked the support of all stakeholders to coordinate with the police and report to authorities any activities that maybe related to narco-politics.

Meanwhile, Licup said that the PNP higher headquarters is planning to augment the police troops in ZamPen region by next year in preparation for the election period.

He said that there is a considerable number of municipal towns in the region especially in Zamboanga del Norte, Sibugay and Zamboanga Del Sur that maybe considered election hotspots in the coming election.

However, the declaration of a city, town or province as an election hotspot will only be made after a series of coordinative meetings among the Commission on Election  (Comelec) PNP, AFP and DILG.--- Allen Abastillas

 
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