CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao - Police here have welcomed the surrender of six armed men who belonged to a private armed group (PAG) of a local politician in Maguindanao, a top regional police official said Wednesday.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Eden T. Ugale, director for the Police Regional Office - Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-BARMM), said the PAG surrenderers were followers of former Maguindanao Assemblyman Sidik Ameril who has two more of such groups that the police are hunting down in the province.
"The surrendering PAG of Ameril on Tuesday afternoon has been operating in Barangay Mangay, Talitay, Maguindanao. It has been listed as active PAG as of March 2021," Ugale said.
He said the surrender of the six PAG members will contribute to the possible peaceful conduct of elections in Maguindanao next year.
The group turned over to Ugale two M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, a Garand rifle, an improvised sniper rifle, an improvised shoulder-fired 40mm grenade launcher, and one 60mm mortar tube.
"With this surrender, BARMM now has remaining two PAGs that are the focus of PNP anti-crime operations," Ugale said.
He also lauded all those who have shared their roles that led to the surrender of gunmen and their high-powered firearms.
"PRO BARMM is determined to bolster its police-community relations and cooperation efforts with other peace stakeholders to put an end to PAGs and convince the two remaining groups to lay down their arms and became peace-loving citizens," Ugale said. (PNA)