PNP monitors local officials linked to kidnap-for-ransom activities
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is monitoring local officials allegedly linked to kidnapping for ransom or gun-for-hire activities meant to raise funds for the 2019 elections.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Alabayalde on Monday, November 26, said the PNP was validating reports of “active collusion” by some local politicians who may be engaged in such activities “presumably for fund raising purposes.”
“Reports of this nature have been monitored in some parts of Mindanao, particularly in known areas of operation of kidnapping gangs,” Alabayalde told reporters in a press briefing.
He added, “This is quite dangerous because of upcoming elections, especially in Mindanao where kidnapping still happening.”
Have links been established? The top cop, though, said it was difficult to conclusively say there was collusion among politicians and crime groups. Albayalde said this was among the reasons the PNP needed to monitor their activities.
“Unang una hindi pa natin ma-establish na there is collusion. Napakahirap, but sometimes you just have reason to believe na merong collusion 'yan. 'Yung kasing pagkuha ng physical evidence, 'yung parang magli-link doon sa political or local chief executive, napakahirap,” he said.
(We haven’t established that there is collusion. It’s very difficult to dod that, but sometimes you just have reason to believe there is collusion. Sometimes getting physical evidence that would link a political or local chief executive is very difficult.)
Asked how many local officials were being monitored, Albayalde said there was still no definite number as reports were still up for validation.
The PNP chief assured the public that case buildup on politicians was based on intelligence reports gathered and received by the PNP. – Rappler.com