Police ramp up crime crackdown as BARMM sees over 300 killings in 7 months

Ferdinandh Cabrera

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Police ramp up crime crackdown as BARMM sees over 300 killings in 7 months

BRIEFING. Police-BARMM director Brigadier General Allan Nobleza gives a security briefing during a stakeholdersu2019 summit for peace and unity in Cotabato City where surrendered loose firearms from various municipalities are presented.

Ferdinandh Cabrera/Rappler

The PNP estimates there are 7,343 loose firearms being held by various armed groups across the BARMM

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – An average of three people are getting killed every two days in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), prompting the police to intensify efforts to curb the crime rate in the predominantly Muslim region.

Police data, presented during a security briefing, showed that the BARMM is seeing a daily average of 1.6 murders or homicides, resulting in a total of 340 deaths from January to July 31.

Maguindanao del Norte stands out as the province with the highest number of killings within the BARMM, recording 17 cases in Datu Odin Sinsuat town alone. Incidentally, the town is the hometown of Maguindanao del Norte Vice Governor Fatima Ainee Sinsuat, whose husband Lester holds the position of mayor.

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Authorities said at least 900 police personnel will be assigned to Maguindanao del Norte, where five of those killed were barangay officials – three of the victims were village chairmen, while two were village councilors.

Sultan Kudarat town documented seven killings, while Parang, another Maguindanao del Norte town, recorded three deaths.

Authorities said the figures showed an urgent need for comprehensive measures to address the alarming trend and enhance the safety of residents in the region.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) in the BARMM announced plans to deploy 13,000 personnel to ensure security in collaboration with the Army and Marines for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections scheduled this October.

Brigadier General Allan Nobleza, PNP-BARMM director, informed local government and security sector officials during a meeting on August 1 that the police regional office is closely monitoring the movements of private armed groups and the presence of loose firearms in the region.

Nobleza said there are at least 7,343 loose firearms held by various armed groups across the region.

He said their current focus includes closely monitoring the activities of private armed groups and ensuring the security of candidates or incumbent officials under threat.

“Loose firearms are a primary concern because firearms in the wrong hands can lead to complications, sabotage, and other forms of violence. We will also be vigilant against private armed groups that unscrupulous politicians might exploit to carry out actions such as harassing opponents, extortion, or even assassination,” said Brigadier General Eric Macaambac, commander of the 1st Marine Brigade.

The region consists of 2,500 polling precincts, which will be jointly secured by military forces. –

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