NEARLY 600 individuals were arrested, including 21 of the most wanted in the region, and various firearms, deadly weapons and illegal drugs were confiscated in three-day police operations conducted over the weekend.
The operations were conducted in prime cities and municipalities across Central Luzon, said police regional director Police Brigadier General Rhodel Sermonia.
He said the strings of operations were done in adherence to the marching order of Police Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa, officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), to intensify, reinvigorate and focus on the anti-criminality drive and anti-insurgency efforts of the PNP.
Sermonia said these recent accomplishments, particularly in the arrest of dangerous fugitives, people involved in illegal drugs, terrorism and street crimes, were the results of strong support of all local chief executives in the anti-criminality and anti-insurgency campaigns of the PNP-Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Luzon together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Meanwhile, for the same period, 71 former New People's Army fighters have surrendered to PNP and local government authorities in Central Luzon, accounting for the total of 105 former rebels who returned to the fold of the law and availed themselves of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program for rebel returnees.
Sermonia said that over the weekend, he ordered all provincial directors and chiefs-of-police to conduct intensified Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operations as part of the crime mitigation efforts of the PNP to deprive criminals with the opportunity to commit crime relative to the security coverage that it has laid for the upcoming 30th SEA Games.
The top cop of Central Luzon said all security preparations for the 30th SEA Games are covered by the PNP and other concerned agencies.
He appealed for public's full support and cooperation, and warned all criminals that the full arm of the law will be used against them should they still prefer to disrupt peace and order in the following days.
Sermonia said while simulation exercises are being done in various areas of engagement for SEA Games, PNP units in Central Luzon over the weekend have carried out actual and proactive crime prevention drive by accounting all wanted persons, clear the streets of drug personalities and take weapons and other instruments of violence from the hands of criminals before they can use them.
Sermonia said in three days and two nights operations, PNP operatives in Central Luzon have arrested a total of 594 individuals, 158 of them have standing warrant of arrests for various crimes, 189 were arrested for illegal drugs, and 247 were arrested for violation of other special laws and local ordinances.
Of the total 594 arrested individuals, 113 from them came from the province of Pampanga, 91 from Bulacan, 90 from Nueva Ecija, 81 from Olongapo City, 69 from Tarlac, 46 from Bataan, 35 from Angeles City, 31 from Zambales, and 13 from Aurora, 23 were arrested by the Regional Intelligence Division and 2 were arrested by the Regional Highway Patrol Unit III.
Of the 158 wanted persons, 21 of them are listed among the most dangerous wanted criminals in their respective areas.
Sermonia also said that for the same period, the PNP in Central Luzon has confiscated a total of 20 assorted firearms, 492 sachets of shabu and 44 sachets of marijuana.
In Angeles City, police authorities raided the Sakura Spa in Barangay Malabanas and rescued five female victims of sex trafficking. The manager of the spa was also charge for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9208 as amended by RA 10364 or Sexual Exploitation Act. (Ric Sapnu)