CATBALOGAN CITY – Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan said she is not to use the newly trained elite SWAT team of the Samar Police Provincial Office for political purposes.
Tan said, she has been more concerned of the killings that have occurred in the province, the proliferation of drugs in key areas and other criminalities, thus the need for a special-skilled unit who can help address the problem.
Twenty all-male elite SWAT team of the Samar PPO recently completed their 45-day training to further enhance their tactical skills to combat potential threats in Samar province and respond to high risk situations.
Police Superintendent Joseph Pensotes, Deputy Provincial Director for Administration and Operation of the Samar PPO, said the formation of the elite SWAT team is highly important in the province where there have been a number of killings that happened in the past months and other incidents that are beyond the capabilities of local police stations.
Pensotes added these additional SWAT members are relevant and very timely since Christmas vacation is just around the corner and the election period will be demanding more attention from police authorities.
Samar has always been in the list of “concerned areas” during elections due to its history of violence and the presence of private armed groups.
The provincial government of Samar backed the SWAT training for the 20-man team under the tutelage of the now relieved police provincial director PSSupt. Elmer Pelobello.
The province’s support included the provision of SWAT equipments, it was learned.
Tan reiterated she is in full support of the campaign on the dismantlement of private armed groups in the province as this has already provided a negative image for Samar deterring the entry of investments and developments in the province’s key areas.
“I assure you that I will not tolerate and at the same time I will not support PAGs,” Tan said.
The new SWAT team formally closed their training on December 3, 2015. (Ahlette C. Reyes)