COTABATO CITY -- Private armies of politicians were barred from entering the Office of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) governor here Monday.
Military and police special forces were on tight guard in and around the complex as they inspected each vehicles that entered the complex and barred armed securities of politicians from getting in.
In his speech during his first 100 Days report dubbed "Ulat ng Bayan," Armm acting Governor Mujiv Hataman admitted many local government officials in the region did not attend the event due to his policy against private armies.
Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu was one of the politicians who failed to attend the Ulat ng Bayan.
The acting governor clarified, however, that not all of the officials failed to attend just because of the strict policy but because of security issues.
He said he wanted to prove to the politicians, especially in Armm, that they can serve the people even without private armies around them.
The Regional Peace and Order Council earlier passed a resolution asking President Benigno Aquino III to declare a total gun ban in Armm and a general amnesty on loose firearms so as to entice firearms owners to register their arms and thereby be placed under the government regulation.
Asked how politicians reacted to the policy against private armies, Hataman said there was no negative reaction at all since the politicians know that it was supported by President Benigno Aquino III.
Armm Police Director Mario Avenido also expressed support to the strong policy against private armies in the region.
He said the police have also started collating information regarding the private armies. He added that after the fall down of the Ampatuans, a powerful political clan in Maguindanao province, the number of private armies has decreased by half.
This is the first time that armed securities of politicians were barred from the Armm governor’s office.
Fully armed men in full-fatigue uniforms are a common sight in the said complex before, as previous regional governors are known to have their own private armies. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)