TACLOBAN CITY- Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan supports the order of Police Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa to dismantle the private armed groups in the province.
Tan said that she has been calling for the police to break down the PAGs in the province but only to receive a deafening silence.
“I am glad that finally the PNP will address our problem regarding the PAGs.We made similar request during the time of Sec. Sarmiento but there were no action taken. We hope this time will be different. We hope they will be arrested, especially those with warrant of arrests,” the governor said in a phone interview.
During his visit at the regional police headquarters at Cam Ruperto Kangleon in Palo town, de la Rosa issued Provincial Police Director S/Supt. Elmer Pelobello to dismantle the PAGs operating in Samar.
The call stemmed from the request of Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino as he claimed that the PAGs were responsible in the spate of killing incidents in his city recently, some involving barangay officials.
Gov. Tan said that with no less than the order issued by de la Rosa, she is confident that finally, PAGs in the province would be busted.
The presence of PAGs in Samar, particularly in Calbayog and nearby towns, has often been cited for the area to be declared as concerned area during elections.
Series of killing incidents in Calbayog were attributed to PAGs.
Tan said that her family, who counts Rep. Mila Tan and brother Vice Governor Stephen James Tan, does not control or maintain any PAGs.
“We have been calling for their dismantling. But instead of heeding our call, the police force in Calbayog were sacked and replaced,” the governor said.
She also said that based on the information that reached her, some of the killing incidents in Calbayog were not “politically related” as claimed by some but were plain cases of robbery. (JOEY A. GABIETA)