POLICE Regional Office 7 director, Chief Superintendent Debold M. Sinas yesterday said there will be no stopping them from carrying out a much intensified anti-criminality campaign in Central Visayas in order to arrest the presence of drugs, partisan armed groups and loose firearms that could be used to disrupt peace and order during the May 2019 mid-term polls.
“We’re implementing an all-out campaign against illegal drugs, PAGs, guns-for-hire and other organized crime syndicates in the entire region to ensure the safety of the public,” the PRO7 director told the Journal Group a day after simultaneous raids in Negros Oriental left six armed suspects dead.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, the official said members of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office served search warrants for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 in Guilhungan City and the municipalities of Mabinay, Sta. Catalina and La Liberted on Thursday.
The official said that backed up by members of the Armed Forces, his men served 80 search warrants in Guilhingan City, 8 in Mabinay and 3 each in Sta. Catalina and La Libertad.
He said 69 of the total warrants issued by different courts were served with 44 of them yielding positive results.
Sinas said that 24 suspects were arrested while six were killed in gun battles. Another 13 are still being hunted as of press time.
The official said recovered during those operations were 49 assorted firearms including an M-14 automatic rifle, an M-16, 4 rifle grenade launchers, a caliber 9mm pistol, 3 cal. .357 revolvers, 25 cal. .38 revolvers, 5 cal. .45 pistols, 2 cal. .22 revolvers, 2 home-made 12-gauge shotguns and 5 grenades.
Also recovered during the raids were 338 assorted live ammunition, several suspected New People’s Army documents and 2 sealed plastic boxes with food rations.
All arrested suspects are now facing charges for violation of RA 10591.
Sinas said the suspects who died in the raids resisted arrest and engaged officers in shootout. Five of the suspects were killed by the Guilhungan police while another was shot dead in a clash in Sta. Catalina.
Those who were killed were identified as Reneboy Fat, Jaime Revilla, Jun Cubul, Demetrio Bat and Dondon Isugan, all of Guilhungan and Constancio Laungita of Barangay Kabulakan in Sta. Catalina.
Sinas said the slain suspects were believed to be members of NPA hit squads operating in the 1st district of Negros Oriental. The other arrested suspects were described as active NPA members.
In Cebu City, Sinas said the local police conducted 23 buy-bust operations which led in the arrest of 27 suspects and the rescue of 4 minors and the recovery of an estimated P1.6 million worth of shabu and 9 loose firearms.