PNP beefs up border control in Region 5 after Sorsogon clash

MANILA – The Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) will relentlessly pursue members of communist terrorist groups and make sure they will yield to government forces.

PRO-5 has deployed 2,654 of its personnel to 54 quarantine control points (QCP) in the Bicol Region, the highest number of deployment in border controls among all regions, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

In a statement on Sunday, he lauded the PRO-5 members who joined the military in an anti-insurgency operation in Irosin, Sorsogon on Thursday, leading to the killing of a ranking officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) and one of his men.

Eleazar said the officer had a PHP5-million bounty.

Two other NPA members, initially identified as alias Dexter and alias Bunso, were forced to surrender.

The encounter happened at the boundaries of Patag and Cawayan villages in response to a report on the presence of about 40 rebels.

“I commend the personnel of the PRO-5 under Police Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo for their successful anti-insurgency operation with the local military forces that led to the neutralization of two NPA armed fighters, including a ranking officer with PHP5 million reward, and the surrender of two others in Sorsogon,” Eleazar said.

The local police is coordinating with the families of the two rebels who surrendered and the two fatalities so they will be provided with necessary assistance.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Loose firearms

At the same time, Eleazar ordered all chiefs of police and area commanders to intensify the accounting of loose firearms.

An aggressive campaign against loose firearms will complement the crackdown on private armed groups to ensure that they cannot sow violence in next year’s polls.

Part of the campaign is for police units to encourage gun owners with expired licenses to renew their registration.

Based on PNP data, there are 664,480 firearms owned by private individuals with expired licenses as of the second quarter of 2021. (PNA)


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