PAGADIAN CITY – Police have arrested at least 75 people, mostly detainees and including six jail guards allegedly being used as private armed groups in Pagadian City in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur, officials said Sunday.
Officials said those arrested were charged with various violations of the Revised Penal Code and the Omnibus Election Code Law after police forces seized assorted weapons from them.
Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, a regional police spokeswoman, said the weekend operation led to the mass arrest and confiscation of guns and ammunition in the village of Dao. “The operation led to the arrest of several detainees/escapees who were utilized as Private Armed Groups. They were charged for Violation of Article 223 and 157 of Revised Penal Code and Violation of RA 10591 in relation to Omnibus Election Code Law,” she said.
Galvez said the detainees were allegedly utilized as utility workers and hired killers in Pagadian City. No other information was provided by the police on who was behind the group, but all those arrested were being interrogated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
There was no immediate statement from either the provincial or city government on the mass arrest, but it also coincided with the clash between security forces and an armed ban Labangan town just outside Pagadian that left 2 gunmen dead and another captured.
Policemen, backed by soldiers were responding to a shooting incident that killed one man in Noburan village when gunmen attacked security forces and engaged them in a running gun battle that left a police officer Senior Inspector Aiko Tesoro wounded.
Security forces also recovered an M14 automatic rifle, one KG9 submachine gun and a .45-caliber pistol, including two cell phones from the slain gunmen. The captured gunman is currently being investigated by the police. (Mindanao Examiner)
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