Palace: Private armies should be dismantled

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Monday, February 4, 2013


MANILA -- Malacanang vowed Monday to go after all private armed groups even if they are being maintained by President Benigno Aquino III's allies.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, in a regular press briefing, said that the campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to dismantle private armed groups and account for all loose firearms continues to make the upcoming election safe and orderly.

Some members of Congress, particularly in the Zamboanga Peninsula, allegedly still have private armies and proliferation of loose firearms continues.

"Loose firearms certainly are frowned upon. We are going to strengthen the security in that area. We are going to go after all those individuals who are holding loose firearms, unlicensed firearms," he said.

Lacierda said that there will be no sacred cows in government's efforts to dismantle private armed groups even if those involved are close allies of the President.

"The President made it clear that there should not be the presence of private armed groups. Even outside of the election, these things are anathema to an administration that is preserving peace and order," he added.

Lacierda said that the police will further intensify their campaign against the proliferation of unlicensed guns.

"We are going to go after all those individuals who are holding loose or unlicensed firearms," he added. (Jill Beltran/SDR/Sunnex)

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