23 Sep President Duterte to AFP: Take Full Control of the Paramilitary Group in Mindanao
The paramilitary group who were involved in arousing fear among farmers and indigenous peoples in the countryside called Bagani command are eyed by President Rodrigo Duterte as he ordered the military forces to take full control of the group adding that allowing such group to operate is just a hindrance in achieving peace.
President Duterte stated, citing to several paramilitary groups being used in the counterinsurgency operations, “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.”
He also stated during his talk with the police regional command in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday afternoon, “Mahinto na sana ito because we are really trying our best to come up with a peaceful country. The communist has agreed to talk so we are talking.”
The President said, “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 added, “Paramilitary operating, especially with firearms issued by the government, that would undermine the peace process.”
The Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio in Arakan, Cotabato, and a number of peasant leaders were killed by the Bagani, who were responsible for the killing of political activists.
Bagani and Alamara militias are harassing lumads from Compostela Valley and Bukidnon, who are now staying at Davao City for more than a year.