MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Sunday lauded the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) for its successful operation against a police officer allegedly linked in gunrunning activities in Placer, Masbate.
“I commend the operatives of our Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group for their successful operation that led to the neutralization of a leader of a gunrunning syndicate in Masbate who was, unfortunately, one of our own,” Eleazar said in a statement.
PNP-IMEG chief Brig. Gen. Flynn Dongbo said Staff Sgt. Carfilo Pahilino Jr., who was assigned as an intelligence operative of the Placer Municipal Police Station, was killed in a shootout during an entrapment operation in Placer on Saturday.
The IMEG operatives were about to arrest Pahilino after he allegedly sold three caliber .38 revolvers and one Norinco caliber .45 pistol to a poseur buyer, when the suspect drew a gun and started shooting at the arresting officers.
The shootout resulted in Pahilino’s death while an undercover police officer from IMEG was wounded in the operation.
“Isa ang Masbate sa may mahabang kasaysayan ng karahasan tuwing eleksyon at naniniwala ako na ang matagumpay na operasyon ng IMEG laban kay Police Staff Sgt. Garfilo Pahilino Jr. ay may malaking epekto sa pagpapakalat ng nga armas na maaring gamitin sa darating na halalan (Masbate is one of the areas with long history of violence every election and I believe that the IMEG operation against Pahilino will have big impact on the proliferation of firearms in the coming elections),” Eleazar said.
Aside from allegedly selling loose firearms to criminal elements in Masbate, Pahilino had also links with the Bustillos drug group, according to the IMEG.
Eleazar said the operation was part of the PNP’s ongoing efforts to ensure the credible and orderly holding of elections in May next year
He earlier ordered aggressive operations against loose firearms and members and leaders of private armed groups as part of the early election security preparations.
“This will serve as a strong message to those who plan to undermine our democratic process that the Philippine National Police will not hesitate to use the full force of the law against anybody, kahit sila ay kabaro pa namin (even if they are one of us), just to ensure that our communities are safe and the true will of the people shall reflect for the Halalan 2022,” the PNP chief said. (PNA)