LEGAZPI CITY: A week before the local election campaign begins, the Regional Special Task Force Masbate arrested a leader of private armed group (PAG) allegedly identified with former governor Antonio Kho.
Police Senior Insp. Art Gomez, task force spokesman, identified the leader as Marvin Galvo, 28, of Barangay Pinamalatican, Mobo town in Masbate.
Gomez said the suspect is the known leader of private armed group (PAG) “Galvo Group” under the umbrella organization of Quidato Group, a well known private army operating in the province of Masbate.
Galvo was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Teofilo Tambago of Masbate Regional Trial Court for the murder of village chieftain Eric Sanay of Barangay Lalaguna in Mobo on Feb. 22, 2016. No bail was recommended.
Senior Supt. Lito Pitallano, task force head, said they collared Galvo early morning on Friday at the mountainous portion of Purok Balig-Ang, Barangay Umabay Interior, in Mobo, tagged as a hotspot barangay.
Recovered from Galvo was a caliber .45 pistol with magazine loaded with six live ammunition and one chamber load.
A PNP intelligence report said there are eight PAGs operating in the island province, five of whom have been validated and identified by the special task force.
Police and military authorities earlier recommended to the Commission on Elections to place the entire province of Masbate under the Comelec control following the presence of political armed groups employed by the warring politicians, as well as communist insurgents.
Masbate was tagged as the political “tinder box” of Bicol where violence is a normal occurrence even before and after the elections because of intense political rivalries.
More than 1,000 policemen were deployed in the province, including the elite Special Action Force (SAF) to maintain peace and order situation during the election period.