MANILA, Philippines - Hundreds of additional troops were sent to Abra on Wednesday as authorities scamper to unearth hundreds of firearms and explosives buried in various parts of the province.
Chief Superintendent Villamor Bumanglag, Cagayan Valley regional police director, said that they received intelligence information that the firearms and explosives will be used by private armies during the May 10 elections.
Bumanglag said there are at least 4 active private armies that have yet to be dismantled in the province.
He said they have yet to receive information about the exact location of the buried firearms and explosives.
Bumanglag said at least 100 additional Army personnel and 200 additional policemen have arrived in the province.
He said there are now more than 500 military personnel and 1,000 policemen deployed around the province.
The province has been placed under the control of the Commission on Elections due to the rising number of election-related violent incidents.
Bumanglag said 4 shooting incidents involving local candidates have been recorded in the province since January.
Since 2002, a total of 30 politicians and several civilians have died in election-related killings in the province.
Meanwhile, Bumanglag reported that they have seized military and police replica vehicles owned by Abra Rep. Cecilia Luna in Barangay Ubbug, Bangued town.
On Monday, police also seized a truck carrying firearms believed owned by a local politician. -- Report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News