MANILA – Malacañang yesterday said government authorities will step up efforts in going after individuals who are holding loose and unlicensed firearms, and also the dismantling of private armies, regardless of who they are or whether they belong to political personalities or families allied with the administration.
"We are going to go after all those individuals who are holding loose firearms, unlicensed firearms," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing.
He added that President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Philippine National Police to observe the gun ban in all areas.
He said Aquino also ordered government authorities to go after private armed groups regardless of whether they belong to political personalities, or families allied with the administration.
Lacierda said that, even outside of the election, the proliferation of loose and unlicensed firearms and the presence of private armies are "anathema to an administration that is preserving peace and order."
The PNP had identified about 112 private armies in the country in 2010.*PNA
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