PNP, AFP form task force vs private armed groups in Samar

Melanie Bingco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2016 06:28 PM

SAMAR-- Samar police and military have launched the Joint Task Force CAGAMASTA to address the problem of escalating crime incidents, mostly perpetrated by private armed groups.

"CAGAMASTA stands for Calbayog, Gandara, Matuguinao and Sta Margarita. With the task force, people can expect that security measures in these areas will be intensified," Police regional office 8 spokesperson, Chief Inspector Ma. Bella Rentuaya said.

Records from the Samar police provincial office revealed that from January to September this year, 98 shooting incidents have occurred in the province. 

Most of these transpired in Calbayog City which had 38 incidents while neighboring towns of Sta. Margarita and Gandara had nine reported shooting incidents each. The town of Matuguinao had 5 reported incidents. 

The said areas will be the focus of police operations in the coming days to ensure public safety and dismantle private armies.

Last September, PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa visited the province's regional office and ordered the police to dismantle private armed groups in the province.