CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, San Fernando City, La Union, (PIA) — As an immediate response to the inclusion of the three provinces (Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur) in the national list of “high risk” areas in connection with the May 13 elections, the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) led by PCSupt. Franklin Jesus B. Bucayu, launched the Regional Special Operations Task Groups (RSOTGs) late last week.
Leading the RSOTG are PCSupt James B. Bucayu, designated as Task Group Commander for Pangasinan, PSSupt Manolito C. Labador, TG Commander for Ilocos Sur, and PSSupt Reynaldo G. Biay, Battalion Commander of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (RPSB 1) for La Union.
According to Bucayu, the objectives of creating the group is to probe and address partisan armed groups (PAGs), crime groups, recovery of loose firearms (FA), arrest of most wanted persons, and other threat groups in an aim for a secure and fair elections (SAFE) 2013.
“Dapat fair tayo, as much as possible we wanted the candidates to know that the RSOTG is neutral/non-partisan,” Bucayu said.
The creation of the group means that it is at the higher level. It is composed of senior police officers from the regional office and DIPO as prime role-players/designated commanders and most members are from the region, while the provincial directors will act as deputy SOTG commanders in their respective areas of assignment.
RSOTG members with the assistance of local police stations earlier sent letters informing/encouraging all gun owners with unrenewed/unregistered license to be wary of their deadlines. For those whose license have expired, it is a must that they surrender said FA to the local police station for temporary custody or if not, it will be confiscated and considered as loose firearm, he added.
Based on data as of November 20 there was a total of 28,004 unrenewed FAs in the region, with recorded number per province as follows: 3,763 in Ilocos Norte, 3,785 in Ilocos Sur, 3,549 in La Union and 16,907 for Pangasinan.
Also part of the activity was the presentation of Commission on Elections Resolution No. 9561-A-the rules and regulations on the ban on bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons, the employment, availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards during the election by Attorney Reddy Balarbar, Comelec 1 Assistant Regional Director.
The RSOTG operation started Dec 10, 2012 to June 12, 2013 (PIA1 La Union with reports from PIO-PRO1)