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Philippines: Independent Commission Against Private Armies Works Toward Safe and Credible Elections

(Mar. 30, 2010) The Independent Commission Against Private Armies (ICAPA), created by Administrative Order 275 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, forwarded two resolutions (Resolution No. 001-10 and Resolution No. 002-10) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on March 24, 2010. The resolutions direct these organizations to increase efforts to disband partisan armed groups in order to secure safe and credible elections in May 2010.

Among the provisions of the resolutions are the following:

  • AFP was urged to conduct an inventory of firearms and ammunition issued to the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU);
  • AFP was urged to monitor CAFGU and Special Civilian Active Auxiliaries personnel to detect the possibility of their involvement in election-related violence and report on the matter within ten days; AFP was directed to increase troop presence in known security-risk areas and to set up more checkpoints in the coastal areas lying between the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Masbate, due to reports of unregulated firearms shipments;
  • PNP was directed to conduct a physical inventory of firearms issued to provincial jail guards, provincial security forces, civilian volunteer organizations, and police auxiliary units and/or Barangay tanods [watchmen] and to report on the matter within ten days; and
  • PNP was directed to regulate the unauthorized use of police and military uniforms and vehicles and to bring about the arrest of civilians and unauthorized personnel engaged in such unlawful activity.

(Arroyo-Formed Body Moves Decisively vs. Private Armies, Office of the President: Republic of the Philippines website, Mar. 24, 2010, available at