Lanao del Sur chief execs propose “training, arming” of BPAT to “sustain” war vs Maute

(Eagle News) — The local chief executives of Lanao del Sur are recommending the “organization, training and arming” of barangay peacekeeping action teams that will “assist (in) and sustain” the war against the Maute group, against whom they declared an “all-out war.”

In a manifesto, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Lanao del Sur chapter said they made the recommendation to train the BPATs as Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units or Special Civilian Active Auxiliaries to President Rodrigo Duterte through the Department of National Defense and Martial Law Administrator Delfin Lorenzana.

The LMP-Lanao del Sur chapter, through the manifesto signed by the organization’s president Dimnatang Pansar, vice president  Alil Sumandar, Marawi  Mayor Majul Gandamra, and Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr., also asked Duterte to order the Armed Forces of the Philippines to open an access road from Basak area to Saguiran via Marawi to Saguiran, Lanao del Sur, and vice versa.

“(This) is to pave the way for the delivery of humanitarian goods to the affected population in the Basak area and the southern part of the province,” they said.

The local chief executives also “reiterated (their) full support” for the President in his fight against illegal drugs and other criminalities,” for the declaration and subsequent extension of martial law in Mindanao, and “for all (his) legislative agenda  including the (Bangsamoro Basic Law) and federalism.”

“The open declaration is anchored on the belief that once Marawi City is cleared of these terrorists, the equally more difficult and long fight towards the total elimination of these terrorists would have just to begin,” they said.

“We could not allow these terrorists to regroup or reorganize and be able to continue sowing terror and causing catastrophic damage not only to our province but the entire country,” they added.