Gov't continues to dismantle private armed groups, says Palace

November 25, 2012 5:16 am 

MANILA, Nov. 24 — Government’s campaign against private armed groups has been continuing and the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government has identified election hot spots in preparation for the election next year, Malacanang said Saturday.

There are criticisms about government’s efforts to dismantle private armed groups in the country particularly after the country marked the third year of the Maguindanao massacre, in which several media men were killed.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas is dealing with private armed groups, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

He said there was an agreement issued by the DILG, the Armed Forces of and the National Police regarding the government’s campaign against private armed groups.

On Nov 23, 2009, some 200 armed men forced the group of 58 people – 20 Mangudadatu relatives and supporters in Maguindanao, 32 journalists and media workers, and six passersby – off the highway near Ampatuan town and executed them.

The Maguindanao massacre brought to light the dangers posed by private armies, militias, and paramilitaries in the peace and order situation in the Philippines.

Several members of the Ampatuan clan, the alleged perpetrators, are now in jail and on trial for the massacre.

Out of 197 identified suspects, the government has arrested 99. (PNA)

HBC/PCOO/JSD

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