CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines – The country’s top cop Director General Alan Purisima will fly down to this province to personally check the existence of the Private Armed Group (PAGs) – the lawless gun-for-hire group causing so much troubles in Samar provinces.
Accordingly, PNP chief Alan Purisima will visit the Police Regional Office 8 stationed in Camp Ruperto Kangleon, Campetic, Palo Leyte on January 19, Saturday. He will be briefed by the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG) on the current situation in the region as far as these private armed groups are concern.
In line with this, some significant accomplishments relative to the earlier capture and neutralization of PAGs in Samar will also be reported to the PNP chief.
Earlier, PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Elmer Soria activated the RSOTG operatives in Samar after the province was included in the list of 15 “priority areas” for the May 2013 polls.
The task group, led by Police Senior Superintendent Edgardo Basbas, Acting Deputy Regional Director for Administration, is tasked in the crackdown against the Montealto and Moloboco PAGs operating in Samar and the campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms.
Director Soria informed that recent RSOTG accomplishments include the neutralization of PAG leader Julito Aragon y Cachero alias Nonoy on December 23, 2013 in the hinterlands of Brgy. Peñaplata, Gandara, Samar.
Aragon was listed as the Number One Most Wanted Person in Samar province and wanted for two counts of murder.
Also, two Montealto PAG members, Michael Angelo Mendoza and Felipe Casaljay, voluntarily surrendered to RSOTG last December 20 and 27, 2012 respectively while Wilfredo Moloboco of Moloboco PAG also turned himself in last December 19, 2012.
These accomplishments are aside from the assorted firearms recovered by RSOTG in police operations against loose firearms, the regional police chief added.
“(This) only goes to show that PRO8 is serious in the crackdown against PAGs and in ensuring SAFE elections in Eastern Visayas,” Soria said.
Soria vowed to ensure that the will of the people is truly reflected in the upcoming elections, even recalling his successful experience as Commander of Task Force: ABRA during the 2010 national and local elections that ensured a peaceful conduct of elections in said province, then considered as “election hotspot” due to the presence of political warlords and heavily armed PAGs.
Meanwhile, Police Director General Alan La Madrid Purisima, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Dimalupig” Class of 1981, took over the reins of the 148,000-strong Philippine National Police last December 18, 2012 as its 18th chief since PNP was formed in 1991.
The PNP chief was a former aide of the late President Corazon Aquino, among other key posts he held in the police force, including being the former director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).