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Duterte orders AFP to control militia in Mindanao

/ 06:31 AM September 23, 2016
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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte stresses a point during his keynote speech in yesterday’s inauguration of the FDC Misamis Power Corp. 405-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. (Jigger J. Jerusalem)

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte has ordered the military to take full control of the Bagani command, the paramilitary group accused of sowing fear among peasants and indigenous peoples in the countryside, saying allowing such group to operate will be a stumbling block to peace.

“I am now ordering the Army to take full control of the Bagani Command and the — there is another group I forgot the name, so many,” Duterte said, referring to various paramiliary groups being used in the counterinsurgency operations in the countryside.

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“Mahinto na sana ito because we are really trying our best to come up with a peaceful country,” he said during a visit at the police regional command in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday afternoon. “The communist have agreed to talk so we are talking.”

“This fighting in the mountain has been going on ever since. But you know, I have noticed from many reports that the government-backed paramilitary units are still operating,” he said.

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“Paramilitary operating, especially with firearms issued by the government, that would undermine the peace process,” Duterte said. The Bagani has been linked to the killing of political activists, among them, the Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio in Arakan, Cotabato, and a number of peasant leaders.

Hundreds of lumad from Compostela Valley and Bukidnon have been staying in Davao City for more than a year now after they have been harassed by Bagani and Alamara militias in their hometowns.  SFM

READ: Duterte: Watch me, Abu Sayyaf will pay

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TAGS: Alamara militia, Arakan municipality, Armed conflict, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bagani Command, Communist Party of the Philippines, communist rebellion, Cotabato, counter-insurgency operations, CPP, Farmers, Fr. Fausto Tentorio, Indigenous people, Insurgency, lumad, Militia, militia groups, millitiamen, National Democratic Front of the Philippines, NDFP, New People’s Army, news, NPA, paramilitary groups, peace, peace negotiations, peace process, Peace Talks, peasants, Philippine Army, Philippine Government, Philippine president, President Rodrigo Duterte, rebellion, Regions, Rodrigo Duterte
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