ARMM eyes stricter security measures

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MARAWI CITY: Officials from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are considering beefing up security measures in the province following the assassination of a high-ranking official last week.

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The proposal was discussed during the joint meeting of regional and provincial peace and order councils here on Monday.

The meeting, which was presided by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, recommended the creation of a special task force to cover not only Marawi City but the entire province of Lanao del Sur amid reported number of unresolved atrocities.

The task force will involve police, military and civilian groups from various sectors including religious groups.

Supt. Al Abner Wahab Santos, Marawi City police chief, was killed in the Sarimanok area, which is 50 meters away from the site where three popcorn vendors and a motorcycle driver were also killed on September 3.

Seven suspected radicals were seen in videos captured by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the area.

Also discussed at the meeting attended by Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal A. Adiong Jr., provincial peace and order council chairman, ARMM’s regional police director Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles and Col. Roseller Murillo, commanding officer of the Army’s 103rd Brigade, which has jurisdiction over Marawi City and parts of Lanao del Sur towns.

During the short meeting on Monday the topics discussed were the possible suspects in the killing of Santos, including drug syndicates and Black flag movement affiliates.

Authorities, however, down-played the possible involvement of suspected members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which have signed peace deal with the government in the said case.

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