Looking the other way: Comelec finds no private armies in Cebu


What private armed groups (PAGs) in Cebu?

A local Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said that there are no such thing, based on the monitoring of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor, said law enforcement authorities are scouring the province for the presence of PAGs that might wreak havoc during the May 9 polls. So far they haven’t found any.

“The PNP and AFP are looking at the criminal elements because there might be a possibility that they will form into private armed groups and will be used during the election,” Castillano said as per a PNA report.

“They would like to neutralize these criminal elements so that during election there will be no presence of private armed group,” he added.

Comelec along with the PNP and AFP are also eyeing the signing of peace covenants among local politikos especially in areas where the rivalries are said to be intense.

“Sometimes, rivalry between politicians intensified because there are doubts as to neutrality of the Comelec, PNP and AFP. We want also to show them that we are impartial,” Castillano further said. (Randy K. Ortega)