PGMA determined to disband private armies

January 8, 2010 10:46 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 8 — Malacañang said on Friday President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will make sure that the newly constituted Presidential Commission Against Private Armies perform its task despite the criticism against it.

In a media briefing, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the members have stated that they will not allow anyone to deter them from achieving the commission’s objectives.

Under Administrative Order No. 275, the President mandates the creation of a commission to investigate the existence of private armies and, if they do exist, to dismantle them before the May elections.

“We are very happy that the commission is already in place and the members have already started work,” Remonde told reporters in his first briefing for the year

Intelligence reports have it that there are 68 armed groups that fall under the category of private armies. It is these reports, Remonde said, that have compelled the President to seriously address the issue and create the commission.

He said the idea of a commission composed of representatives from different sectors of society was first broached by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

On the need for security, Remonde said, “that is precisely why the government keeps the state of emergency in force in Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and Sultan Kudarat. (PNA) scs/OPS/ssc

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