Most private armies in North

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Ilocos-Pangasinan region has the most number of Partisan Armed Groups or PAGs validated by the Philippine National Police, the Journal Group learned.

Of the total 43 active PAGs validated by the PNP Directorate for Intelligence, Region 1 has 9 followed by Region 8 in Eastern Visayas with 8; Region 2 in Cagayan Valley with 6; Region 4-A (Calabarzon) and Region 6 in Western Visayas with 5 each; Region 7 in Central Visayas and Region 5 in Bicol with 3 each; Region 3 in Central Luzon with 2; and Cordillera Region and Region 13 in Caraga with 1 each.

The PNP-DI is still subjecting to further validation intelligence reports on the number of PAGs in other regions: 2 in Region 1; 3 in Cordillera Region; 4 in Region 4-A; 2 in Region 4-B in Mimaropa; 2 in Region 5; 2 in Region 6; 9 in Region 10; and 1 in Region 13.

The list does not include PAGs operating in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the PNP said citing the peculiar characteristics of the area in terms of socio-economic, religious and political conditions.

The PNP said a total of 25 active PAGs are operating in the region broken down as follows: Basilan- 4; Lanao del Sur- 2; Maguindanao- 2; Sulu- 10; and Tawi-Tawi- 7.

Police are till validating the presence of 77 other PAGs in the region broken down as follows: Lanao del Sur- 27; Maguindanao- 21; Sulu-17; and Tawi-Tawi-12.