Gov't troops arrest 19 armed men in Zamboanga del Sur
Government troops apprehended 19 armed men during a law enforcement operation in Zamboanga del Sur on Monday.
Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said the law enforcement operation was conducted by troops of the 53rd Infantry Battalion and Pagadian City Police Office in Barangay Danlugan, Pagadian City.
Besana said the suspects were on board two vehicles when they were apprehended by government forces.
"Acting on a report from the residents of the barangay about the presence of armed elements onboard two pick-up vehicles, government troops were immediately able to flag down the two vehicles and apprehend (the) personalities," he said.
Besana said recovered were five M-16 rifles, seven caliber .45 pistol, two caliber .357 revolver, one 9mm pistol, one caliber .38 revolver, one caliber .22 revolver, several assorted ammunition and 17 bonnets.
Besana said the apprehended personalities and recovered firearms were brought to Pagadian City police station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.
Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the arrest came few hours after the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan conducted a send-off ceremony to its troops for election duties.
“Our joint law enforcement operations together with the PNP will be relentless as the conduct of 2019 midterm elections is fast approaching," he said.
Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan, said "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." Robina Asido/DMS