Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo reiterated yesterday his directive to the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office to dismantle private armed groups as the May 2013 election looms nearer.

Degamo said there are unidentified persons from Mindanao in the province, and the police should determine their purpose to ensure that they are not guns-for- hire. He, however, said that, so far, he has not received any reports of them being in the camps of politicians.

He also directed the PNP to intensify efforts in neutralizing armed robbery groups, whose services may also be availed of by unscrupulous politicians. Because of their nefarious activities, the robbers could be coddled by politicians, he said.

Meanwhile, the muzzles of around 1,300 service firearms of personnel of NOPPO were simultaneously taped in ceremonial sealing rites Wednesday.

Supt. Alet Virtucio, deputy provincial director for operations, said personnel of other police stations province-wide also sealed their firearms.

This is to ensure that the police will not fire their guns during the New Year revelry and to protect the public from untoward incidents, he added.

Each police unit chief signed the seal and will check the guns after the celebration to determine if the order has been complied with.*JG