Tarlac City wants own SWAT team
- Benjie Villa () - July 20, 2004 - 12:00am
TARLAC CITY — The local police here has asked the city government to back its bid to put up a 21-man elite force that would make up the province’s first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.

In a proposal to Mayor Genaro Mendoza, city police chief Superintendent Tito Bayangos, said that the members of the team will undergo courses in "an elite anti-terrorist training center of the Philippine National Police."

The group, he added, will be headed by a lawman who holds a minimum rank of Senior Police Officer-4, who will directly take orders from the police chief.

According to Bayangos, the proposed SWAT team’s "primary purpose and objectives are to deal with any hostile situation, carry out visibility patrols along main thoroughfares, and other crime-prone areas within (this city)."

He said the necessity of an elite force has been made imperative by "the imminent threat posed by organized syndicates," which, Bayangos noted, "cannot be fought by regular policemen."

Apparently, the plan to put up a SWAT team here came after a robbery-holdup gang made waves in this city a few months back. The criminal group was said to be headed by one Romeo Mapatac, a former Army soldier who was discharged from the service for several alleged illegal activities.

The "Mapatac Gang" was reportedly composed of remnants of the defunct "Adalem Gang," which was allegedly headed by the late retired Army Col. Leodegario Adalem. The gang figured in a string of gun-running and gun-for-hire cases, highway robbery and illegal gambling activities in Central Luzon.

Adalem, together with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent Tomas Pangilinan, was assassinated by urban partisans of the communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) in broad daylight in Barangay Maliwalo here in April 2000, as the rebels held him responsible for the 1980 murder of Ifugao tribal leader, Macli-ing Dulag.

Bayangos pointed out that in order for the proposed SWAT team to be successful in its operations, it should be "community friendly."

He added that the elite team "will implement a responsive and holistic anti-crime strategy," as well as "improve police response to crime and "improve Tarlac City’s crime solution efficiency."

Aside from requiring additional policemen to create the team, Bayangos told Mendoza that the proposed select force should be provided with new firearms and equipment.

ADALEM GANG ARMY COL BARANGAY MALIWALO BAYANGOS CENTRAL LUZON LEODEGARIO ADALEM MAPATAC GANG MAYOR GENARO MENDOZA NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NEW PEOPLE
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