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PNP, AFP team up to secure 2019 polls

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez had a closed door meeting on Tuesday to ensure a peaceful, orderly and fair conduct of the 2019 midterm polls.

The leaders of the PNP and AFP discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the two through the joint peace and security coordinating committee (JPSCC).

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are exploring all available avenues for better coordination and cooperation under the framework of the joint peace and security coordinating committee (JPSCC) in our operations on internal security, anticriminality and counterterrorism,” said a joint PNP-AFP statement.

Under the joint security framework, the police and military aim to establish greater inter-operability in their operations “to address security concerns within our respective areas of concern including all other major national events where we join hands in support of national government initiatives.”

Albayalde said among the biggest threats during the election period are the possible intervention of private armed groups (PAGs), communist rebels and terror groups.

He said the police and military “shall take frontline initiatives to carry out aggressive operations against loose firearms and gun-for-hire groups.”

Albayalde added that the PNP’s collaboration with the AFP through the JPSCC recently resulted in the arrest of five high-ranking communist rebels and two high-ranking Maute terrorists.

Meanwhile, the PNP reported having arrested 82 gun-for-hire syndicate members and confiscated 35 firearms since August 2018.

At least 77 active PAGs with around 2,071 members across the country are now the focus of intelligence operations, the PNP said.

The PNP and AFP also agreed that all uniformed personnel shall remain nonpartisan in adherence to President Duterte’s order.#