PNP probes security agency after guards disarmed by alleged NPA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is investigating a security firm after its security guards were disarmed by alleged members of the New People's Army in the quarry site of a power plant in a Misamis Oriental town.

Five security guards stationed in the Minergy Power Plant Ash Pond site in Balingasag town in Misamis Oriental were disarmed in Tuesday by an unknown number of communist rebels who took their AK-47 assault rifles, ammunition, and handheld radios. PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the guards, who came from AY-76 Security Specialists Inc., "apparently were caught flat footed and did not offer any resistance."

PNP's Civil Security Group PBGen Roberto Fajardo said that based on a memorandum, the security agencies are only allowed to issue shotguns and handguns to their guards. This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte's 2017 order to tighten regulation following raids allegedly carried out by NPA to steal high-powered firearms.

Albayalde said the investigation will look into the possible administrative and operational lapses by the private security provider. Fajardo said charges could be filed against the agency if proven that there were errors on their part.