TACLOBAN CITY-The Philippine Army will help in the call to dismantle the private armed groups (PAGs) operating in Samar province.
Colonel Mario Lacurom, commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Catarman, Northern Samar, said that they have deployed Army personnel to help man checkpoints and conduct operations against individuals who have standing warrants, particularly in Calbayog City.
“This is also part of the intensified operation of the PNP, AFP with the indefinite (declaration of the) state of national emergency on account of lawless violence that was declared by our President,” Lacurom explained.
“We will help in maintaining peace in the area and partly running after lawless elements in Calbayog,” he added.
But the Army officer appeal for the cooperation of the public for them to neutralize the PAGs.
“The only way to break down the armed groups is when people say that they do not support them and they want them to be out of their place,” Lacurom said.
During his visit to the region on Tuesday (Sept.13), Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa issued an order for the Samar police to dismantle the PAGs particularly in Calbayog City.
Calbayog Mayor Ronald Aquino personally appealed to de la Rosa for the dismantling of PAGs in his city.
The spate of killing incidents that happened in Calbayog was blamed on the PAGs believed to be controlled and maintained by certain local politicians.