Army, PNP monitor private armed groups

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Both the Philippine Army and the National Police are closely monitoring alleged remnants of private armed groups (PAGs), who are now inactive, in Negros Occidental, as the election period for the May 2022 polls is set to start in January.

While he did not elaborate on the details, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said Dec. 1 that the PNP has a list of individuals allegedly connected to the PAGs.

Pasaporte said some of the PAG leaders had already been neutralized by the police.

If politicians would employ the services of PAGs, they might import from other areas, while the PAG remnants in the province could possibly be hired by politicians in other places, he added.

During the 2019 elections, Moises Padilla town was placed under Comelec control due to election-related violence.

But Pasaporte said the situation in Moises Padilla is now different.

He also reported that they have stationed troops in the hinterland barangays of central Negros to prevent terroristic activities of the New People’s Army members. — GB