CAMP SANG-AN, Pulacan, Labangan, Zambonga del Sur – Nineteen (19) armed elements were apprehended in the joint law enforcement operations of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Division and Pagadian City Police Office with the supervision of Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian City COMELEC in Brgy Danlugan, Pagadian City at 2:10 pm Monday May 6, 2019.
Prior to apprehension, the government troops received reports from the residents of said barangay about the presence of armed elements riding in two pick-up vehicles.
The government troops immediately responded in the area and were able to flag down the 2 vehicles and immediately apprehended the personalities on board possessing firearms in plain view.
Recovered from the scene were 5 M16 rifles, 7 Cal .45 pistol, 2 Cal .357 revolver, 1 9mm pistol, 1 Cal .38 revolver, 1 Cal .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 which has operational jurisdiction over Pagadian City.
The arrest came few hours after the Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) conducted a send-off ceremony to its troops for election duties.
For his part, Atty Jossil Macute, the Provincial Election Supervisor of Zamboanga del Sur said, “This apprehension of armed elements should serve as a warning that the AFP in cooperation with the PNP, is serious in ensuring the safety of our electorates in the upcoming elections.”
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division and the JTF ZAMPELAN lauded the efforts of the 53IB and Pagadian City PNP for the quick response which led to the successful conduct of joint law enforcement operations.
“The apprehension of these armed elements will certainly help improve the security situation in our area of responsibility and for our people to be more safe and secure especially in the upcoming Midterm National and Local Elections 2019,” said Ancan.
“Rest assured that we will remain vigilant and steadfast in our mandate to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of elections,” Ancan added.
The apprehended personalities and recovered firearms were brought to Pagadian City Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.