Press Release
November 20, 2018

Koko urges the PNP to go all-out against guns-for-hire to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People's Participation, today urges the Philippine National Police (PNP) to go all-out against guns-for-hire and hit squads amid the spate of killings of local officials.

"The killings of local officials happening all over the country is alarming. These are surely election-related and if the PNP does not go all-out against these lawless elements, how can we have a free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections?" asked Pimentel.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde ordered a crackdown on guns-for-hire and private armed groups in July this year following the series of killings of local officials in the country. The PNP aims to disarm and arrest all of them.

Pimentel agrees with the current intensified and relentless operations against these guns-for-hire and private armed groups, especially that the 2019 National and Local Elections is fast approaching, but maintains that these should be part of the PNP's regular operations to effectively promote law and order in the entire country.

"The PNP must show that it is serious in this endeavour. The PNP must disarm these guns-for-hire and hit squads and timely file cases against them with sufficient evidence," Pimentel said.

He adds, "our police force must also improve on their investigation skills so that everyone with links to these syndicates can be brought to the bar of justice. And if the investigation shows that those among their ranks are involved in these illegal activities, then the PNP must purge their ranks of these rotten eggs."

Under our penal code, those who employ guns-for-hire are actually principals in the crime and their liability is the same or as serious as the gunman's.

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