‘Dismantle private armies before elections’
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:40:00 03/11/2009
MANILA, Philippines – Fifteen months before the 2010 elections, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to dismantle private armed groups and crack down on loose firearms, Malacañang said.
Arroyo relayed the order to Director Raul Bacalzo, Director for Investigation and Detective Management, who was at the Palace on Wednesday for a dialogue with media organizations, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said.
“The President ordered General Bacalzo to dismantle private armed groups [and] intensify the campaign against guns for hire,” Remonde told a news conference at the Palace.
“The President issued many election security measures [such as to] intensify Oplan Bakal [Operation Plan Iron, a campaign against loose firearms] once the [election] period starts,” Bacalzo said, referring to the gun ban that the Commission on Elections declares before elections.
“We will also be more strict at checkpoints and chokepoints,” he said.
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