PNP chief orders crackdown on goons, loose guns

BRIGADIER General John Bulalacao (right), Police Regional Office-6 director, presents to PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde the firearms recovered by Western Visayas cops in various operations during the latter’s visit to Camp Delgado in Iloilo City on May 3, 2019. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

Ten Days ahead of the May 13, 2019 midterm elections, Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde asked police officers to “sacrifice a little.”

Albayalde made the call despite citing the police for doing good in their preparations for the midterms polls.

“Pagtyagaan na natin ito. This happens every three years. Konting sakrispisyo, konting sipag pa,” he said during his visit at the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) headquarters in Camp Delgado, Iloilo City.

Albayalde cited statistics showing a decrease in the number of election-related incidents this year.

For the 2019 national elections, the PNP only recorded 26 incidents, way lower than the 106 cases in 2016 elections and 94 in 2013.

The PNP also noted a 75 percent reduction in the number of victims of election-related violence.

The 26 incidents this year had 45 victims, with 13 deaths.

In 2016, the PNP said 45 persons died due to election-related violence and 42 in 2013.

Albayalde told police officers in Region 6 to continue and double their efforts in the campaign against private armed groups, gun for hire, and loose firearms.

“Ito ang mga ginagamit ng mga kandidato at kumakandidato o even ‘yung mga incumbent na kumakandidato kaya nagkakagulo ang conduct ng election sa ating bansa,” he said.

During Albayalde’s visit to Iloilo, the PRO-6 presented firearms recovered during its campaign against loose firearms dubbed “Tokhang Kontra Guinadili-an Nga Pusil.”

From July 24 2018 to April 28, 2019, police recovered 10,569 firearms. Most of the guns were acquired through soft-hand approach, which means the owners yielded their guns for safekeeping by police.

The surrendered firearms totaled 9,819 while 741 firearms were seized through the iron-hand approach or police operations.

The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) received the most number of firearms with 3,109.

Negros Occidental Police Police Office (NOCPPO) has 1,710; Antique PPO, 1,684; Capiz, 1,283; Aklan PPO, 1,013; Bacolod City PO, 773; Iloilo City PO, 740; and Guimaras PPO, 248.

Meanwhile, Albayalde told PNP commanders that he will hold them responsible in directly supervising their subordinates on the ground.

“You will be made responsible for the deeds and misdeeds of your personnel,” he said.

By this time, Albayalde said he expects that police officers, especially those who will be deployed for elections duties, already know their “dos and don’ts.”