THE Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (Noppo) is monitoring the potential presence of so-called private armed groups (PAGs) in the province in the wake of the forthcoming midterm elections on May 13.
Chief Inspector Jul Mohammad Jamiri, deputy chief for provincial operations and chief of the Election Monitoring Action Center of Noppo, said Monday, February 11, that “there were groups being monitored here but they are not locals.”
These groups usually just come and go and do not stay here, he said.
“Based on the previous elections, may mga grupo gyud nga nangabot (there were groups that arrived here) although we don’t have yet the final numbers or confirmation that they are here,” he added.
And because of past experiences, Jamiri said the police are preparing for their possible arrival for the elections.
The police anticipate that some candidates might engage the services of these individuals, although Jamiri said he hopes that Negros Oriental will once more enjoy peaceful and orderly polls in May as in the past.
Part of the preparation is going after loose firearms through sustained police operations, Jamiri said.
"That is why we are continuing with the Sempo (Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations) so we can serve search warrants against those who have unlicensed firearms," the police officer added.
The Noppo is currently in the process of serving additional search warrants following the successful Sempo implementation of about 100 search warrants last December, he said.
While that in December was basically geared toward the campaign against loose firearms, this time around, the Sempo covers all other forms of criminality, said Jamiri.
“As for now, we don’t have yet the final number of search warrants but definitely almost all police stations are allowed to implement one search warrant a day,” he said.
The Sempo is a priority program of the PNP and is being implemented regularly in the province and elsewhere in the country, he added. (PNA)