Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Joint AFP-PNP-PDEA task force formed to restore normalcy in Marawi City

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 20): Joint AFP-PNP-PDEA task force formed to restore normalcy in Marawi City

To restore law and order in Marawi City, regional and local government on Monday created a special task force to contain rising illegal drug related crimes which was capped by the recant ambush-slay of the city’s police chief.

The composite group, aptly called Joint Task Force Ranao, is ordered to implement stricter law enforcement against organized crime syndicates in Marawi.

“A total gun ban would be imposed in Marawi as one of the measures to prevent a repetition of policemen being killed in the city,” Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP-ARMM) police director, said.

The PNP-ARMM has administrative and operational control over police in Marawi City, component city of Lanao del Sur.

On October 17, gunmen shot dead in a daring attack Supt. Abner Wahab Santos, Marawi City police chief, as he was aboard alone in his vehicle.

That ill-fated day, Santos was heading back around 2:30 p.m. to Marawi City from a command conference with Lanao del Sur police officers in a nearby area when ambushed by gunmen onboard another vehicle in Barangay Luksadatu, Marawi City.

“Once the city and provincial councils come up with an ordinance, gun ban will be strictly imposed, permit to carry firearms of civilians is suspended,” Estilles said in a phone interview.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, who presided over a joint regional and provincial peace and order council meeting on Monday, said once the ordinance is in place, no police or military personnel are allowed entry, if they have no official business, in the city.

Police or Army officers in civilian clothes carrying firearms would be denied entry or not allowed to roam around the city, Hataman said in a radio interview.

“Permits to carry firearms would also be suspended within Marawi City,” the governor added.

Heavily tinted vehicles, which are common in Marawi City, would also no longer be allowed.

All vehicles’ license plates are also ordered exposed and not covered by any obstruction.

“The agreement is that all stakeholders must participate in our efforts to restore peace and normalcy in Marawi,” Hataman said.

Hataman and Estilles both said the death of Santos could be traced to his successful dismantling of big time illegal drug operators in the city.

"He (Santos) personally led in the campaign to rid Marawi of illegal drug suppliers, pushers, users and peddlers,” Estilles said.


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