Nineteen armed elements were apprehended in a joint law enforcement operation conducted by combined troops of the 53rd Infantry Battalion and Pagadian City Police Office in Barangay Danlugan, Pagadian City yesterday afternoon, May 6.
Acting on a report from the residents of the said barangay about the presence of armed elements onboard two pick-up vehicles, government troops were immediately able to flag down the 2 vehicles and apprehend said personalities.
Recovered from the armed personalities were 5 M16 rifles, 7 Caliber .45 pistol, 2 Caliber .357 revolver, 1 9mm pistol, 1 Caliber .38 revolver, 1 Caliber .22 revolver, several assorted ammunitions and 17 bonnets.
“Our joint law enforcement operations together with the PNP will be relentless as the conduct of 2019 Midterm elections is fast approaching. With the continued cooperation of our people in reporting the presence of armed elements and threat groups in their communities, we can respond at once and prevent these lawless armed elements from disrupting the peaceful and orderly conduct of our elections,” said Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade.
The arrest came few hours after the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan conducted a send-off ceremony to its troops for election duties.
“The apprehension of these armed elements will certainly help improve the security situation in our area of responsibility and for our people to be safer and secured especially in the upcoming National and Local Elections 2019,” said Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan.
“Rest assured that we will remain vigilant and steadfast in our mandate to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of elections,” BGen Ancan added.
The apprehended personalities and recovered firearms were brought to Pagadian City Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.
“Your Western Mindanao Command will never cease to eradicate terrorism and criminalities in the entire Western and Central Mindanao,” Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega said.
“Our efforts will not falter so as to give all the electorates the opportunity to securely and peacefully cast their votes on May 13,” LtGen Dela Vega added.