House committee approves Arroyo, colleague’s proposal for special CAFGU’s deactivation in parts of Mindanao during election period
A resolution of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Zamboanga del Norte 1st District Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos calling for the deactivation of the Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) in parts of Mindanao during the upcoming election period got a nod from the House Committee on National Defense and Security.
In a hearing on Monday, the committee, chaired by Pangasinan 5th District Rep. Amado Espino, Jr. decided to deactivate the SCAA in Zamboanga del Norte and Cotabato City starting from the filing of Certificates of Candidacy this month until the end of the 2019 mid-term elections.
House Resolution No. 2188, filed by Arroyo and Jolosjos last Sept. 18, originally sought to disband and/or deactivate all local government-sponsored paramilitary personnel within Mindanao during the upcoming mid-term elections next year and every elections thereafter as they pose “more of a threat to the free exercise of democratic process rather than addressing security threat.”
“With the advent of elections, the activation of SCAACs among LGUs in Mindanao is becoming popular, thus, it raises an alarming concern given a common knowledge that politicians have the natural tendency to resort to the use of goons, guns and gold in order to get advantage in an electoral contest,” the resolution reads.
Noting the varying necessities in the different areas in Mindanao in terms of security, the committee decided to limit the coverage of the draft resolution only to Zamboanga del Norte and Cotabato City.
According to the committee, Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Isidro Purisima assured during the hearing that the military is continuously improving its policies and mechanisms on the activation or deployment of SCAAs to deter abuses perpetrated by some politicians.
Purisima also said that all applications for new SCAAs are currently on hold.(END)
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