Anticrime task force formed after daring attack in Marawi
COTABATO CITY—Following the murder in broad daylight of Marawi City’s police chief, officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the local governments in Lanao del Sur and Marawi on Monday created a special task force to contain rising criminality there.
The Joint Task Force Ranao, composed of policemen, soldiers and personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), would ensure stricter law enforcement in the city, said Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, ARMM regional police director who has administrative and operational control over the Marawi police.
A total gun ban will also be implemented as one of the measures to prevent a repeat of the daring attack on Supt. Abner Wahab Santos, the city’s police chief, Estilles said. It will be strictly imposed once the city and provincial councils come up with an ordinance, he added.
Santos was driving his Mitsubishi Montero sport utility vehicle (SUV) and was heading back to the Marawi police station from a command conference with Lanao del Sur police officers when he was attacked by a group of men aboard another SUV in Barangay Luksadatu in Marawi on Saturday afternoon.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who presided over a joint regional and provincial peace and order council meeting, said that under the proposed ordinance, no police or military personnel will be allowed to enter Marawi if they have no mission orders, are in civilian attire and have no business in the city.
Hataman and Estilles said Santos’ murder could be traced to his success in dismantling big time illegal drug operations in Marawi. “[Santos] personally led in the campaign to rid Marawi of illegal drug pushers, users [and] peddlers,” Estilles said.
“The agreement is that all stakeholders must participate in our efforts to restore peace and normalcy in Marawi,” Hataman said.
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